Skip to main content

Full text of "Past and present of the city of Rockford and Winnebago County, Illinois"

See other formats


•  .4     ^N 


-     4^ 


% 


PAST  AND  PRESENT 


OF  THE 


CITY  OF  ROCKFORD 


AND  /-.  -^  , 


WINNEBAGO  COUNTY,  ILLINOIS 


BY 


CHARLES   A.    CHURCH 

ASSISTED  BY  H.  H.  WALDO 


TOGETHER   WITH 


BIOGRAPHICAL    SKETCHES 


OF   MANY  OF   ITS   LEADING   AND    PROMINENT   CITIZENS   AND    ILLUSTRIOUS   DEAD 


ILLUSTRATED 


CHICAGO: 

THE  S.  J.  CLARKE  PUBLISHING  CO. 

1905 


1Dc^lcatc^  to  the 

lPionccr5 

ot  ^1111101^00  Countv? 


r 


PRKFACB. 


THE  publishers  take  great  pleasure  in  presenting  this  volume  to  the  public.  In  addition 
to  the  general  history,  which  is  a  model  of  its  kind,  our  corps  of  writers  have  gone  to 
the  people,  the  men  and  women  who  have,  b\'  their  enterprise  and  industry,  brought 
this  county  to  a  rank  second  to  none  among  those  comprising  this  great  and  noble 
State,  and  from  their  lips  have  the  story  of  their  life  struggles.  No  more  interest- 
ing or  instructive  matter  could  be  presented  to  an  intelligent  public.  In  this  volume 
will  be  found  a  record  of  many  whose  lives  are  worthy  the  imitation  of  coming 
generations.  It  tells  how  some,  commencing  life  in  poverty,  by  industry  and 
economy  have  accumulated  wealth.  It  tells  how  others,  with  limited  advantages  for  securing 
an  education,  have  become  learned  men  and  women,  with  an  influence  extending  throughout 
the  length  and  breadth  of  the  land.  It  tells  of  men  who  have  risen  from  the  lower  walks  of 
life  to  eminence  as  statesmen,  and  whose  names  have  become  famous.  It  tells  of  those  in 
every  walk  in  life  who  have  striven  to  succeed,  and  records  how  success  has  usually 
crowned  their  efforts.  It  tells  also  of  many,  very  many,  who,  not  seeking  the  applause  of  the 
world,  have  pursued  the  "even  tenor  of  their  way,"  content  to  have  it  said  of  them,  as  Christ 
said  of  the  woman  performing  a  deed  of  mercy  —  "They  have  done  what  they  could."  It 
tells  how  many,  in  the  pride  and  strength  of  young  manhood,  left  the  plow  and  the  anvil,  the 
lawyer's  office  and  the  counting-room,  left  every  trade  and  profession,  and  at  their  country's 
call  went  forth  valiantly  "to  do  or  die,"  and  how  through  their  efforts  the  Union  was 
restored  and  peace  once  more  reigned  in  the  land.  In  the  life  of  every  man  and  of  every 
woman   is   a   lesson  that  should  not   be  lost  upon  those  who   follow  after. 

Coming  generations  will  appreciate  this  volume  and  preserve  it  as  a  sacred  treasure,  from 
the  fact  that  it  contains  so  much  that  would  never  find  its  way  into  public  records,  and  which 
would  otherwise  be  inaccessible.  Great  care  has  been  taken  in  the  compilation  of  the  work 
and  every  opportunity  possible  given  to  those  represented  to  insure  correctness  in  what  has 
been  written;  and  the  publishers  flatter  themselves  that  they  give  to  their  readers  a  work  with 
few  errors  of  consequence.  In  addition  to  biographical  sketches,  portraits  of  a  number  of 
representative  citizens  are  given. 

The  faces  of  some,  and  biographical  sketches  of  many,  will  be  missed  in  this  volume. 
For  this  the  publishers  are  not  to  blame.  Not  having  a  proper  conception  of  the  work,  some 
refused  to  give  the  information  necessary  to  compile  a  sketch,  while  others  were  indifferent. 
Occasionally  some  member  of  the  family  would  oppose  the  enterprise,  and  on  account  of  such 
opposition  the  support  of  the  interested  one  would  be  withheld.  In  a  few  instances  men  never 
could  be  found,  though  repeated  calls  were  made  at  their  residence  or  place  of  business. 

November,  1905.  The  S.  J.  Clarke  Publishing  Co. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT 

OF 

WINNEBAGO  COUNTY 


HISTORICAL 


GEOGRAPHICAL  REVIEW. 

The  territory  now  comprised  within  the  state 
of  lUinois  first  nominally  formed  a  part  of  Vir- 
ginia. The  English  crown,  by  virtue  of  dis- 
coveries made  by  the  Cabots  and  the  colonies 
planted  by  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  took  formal  pos- 
session of  that  portion  of  the  new  world  later 
known  as  Virginia.  The  English  colonists  in 
Mrginia,  however,  did  not  penetrate  far  into  the 
interior.  Thus  the  royal  claim  to  the  "land 
throughout  from  sea  to  sea  west  and  northwest" 
did  not  secure  the  title  of  the  English  crown  to 
this  vast  domain.  The  French  were  the  first 
actual  settlers  in  the  great  Mississippi  valley. 
During  the  latter  part  of  the  seventeenth  century 
Father  Marquette,  Joliet,  La  Salle,  Tonti  and 
others  had  explored  the  shores  of  the  Father  of 
Waters  and  his  tributaries.  La  Salle  descended 
the  ]\Iississippi  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  He 
named  the  country  Louisiana,  in  honor  of  his 
king,  Louis  XIV.  By  virtue  of  these  explorations 
France  made  formal  claim  to  the  territory  lying 
on  either  side  of  the  Mississippi.  Thus,  with 
English  colonies  on  the  coast,  and  French  occu- 
pation in  the  valley  of  the  Alississippi,  it  was  only 
a  question  of  time  when  there  would  come  a  final 
struggle  for  the  possession  of  this  vast  territory. 

This  crisis  came  with  the  French  and  Indian 
war,  the  issue  of  which  committed  the  destiny  of 
the  west  to  the  Anglo-Saxon  civilization.  By 
the  treaty  of  Paris,  in  1763,  Great  Britain  ob- 
tained all  the  French  territory  east  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, with  the  exception  of  the  island  of  New 
Orleans. 


The  special  claim  made  by  Virginia  to  the 
Illinois  territory  was  based  upon  the  bold  con- 
quest of  this  region  bv  Colonel  George  Rogers 
Clark. 

In  1778  Colonel  Clark  conducted  a  series  of 
brilliant  campaigns  against  the  military  posts  at 
Kaskaskia,  Cahokia  and  X'incennes.  The  French 
villages,  the  only  settlements  in  the  region,  were 
seats  of  British  power.  If  these  posts  could  be 
taken,  and  the  capture  of  the  British  effected,  the 
entire  region  would  be  won  for  the  Old  Do- 
minion. The  scheme  appealed  to  the  bold  spirit 
of  Colonel  Clark,  and  the  outcome  justified  his 
most  sanguine  expectations. 

Virginia  assured  the  title  to  this  extensive  ter- 
ritory, first  by  right  of  her  charter,  and  sec- 
ondly by  the  conquest  of  her  own  arms.  The 
territory  was  at  once  organized  into  a  country 
called  Illinois.  By  the  treaty  of  Paris  in  1783, 
which  terminated  the  Revolutionary  war,  the 
Illinois  territory  passed  forever  from  the  control 
of  Great  Britain.  In  1784  the  delegates  in  con- 
gress from  the  commonwealth  of  Virginia  pre- 
sented to  the  Laiited  States  a  deed  of  cession  of 
the  territory  northwest  of  the  Ohio  river.  By 
the  ordinance  of  1787  congress  provided  that  not 
less  than  three  nor  more  than  five  states  should 
be  formed  from  this  territory. 

By  an  act  of  congress  in  1800  the  Northwest 
Territory  was  divided  into  two  parts,  called  the 
Ohio  and  the  Indiana  Territory  respectively.  The 
latter  comprised  the  present  states  of  Indiana, 
Illinois.  Michigan  and  Wisconsin.  In  1809  was 
organized  the  territory  of  Illinois,  which  also 
included    Wisconsin    and    peninsular    Michigan. 


PAST     AXn     PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


The  scat  of  frovcmmeiit  was  fixed  at  Kaskaskia. 
In  1812  Illinois  was  advanced  to  the  second  grade 
of  territorial  government;  and  in  1818  it  was  ad- 
mitted with  its  present  boundaries  into  the  l''nion 
as  a  state. 

WINNKRAGOF.S    .\ND    IMF.    Itl.AC  K    HAW  K    WAR. 

Winnebago  county  does  not  figure  prominently 
in  Indian  history.  The  Winnebagoes,  from  whom 
the  county  derives  its  name,  occupied  it  as  a  por- 
tion of  their  reservation  at  one  time.  This  tribe 
was  first  met  by  the  Jesuit  fathers  at  the  head 
of  Green  bay.  The  Winnebagoes  belonged  to  the 
Dacota  or  Sioux  nation.  They  wandered  to 
southern  Wisconsin  and  northern  Illinois  and 
Iowa.  r>y  a  treaty  negotiated  at  Prairie  du  Chien, 
.\ugust  I.  1829.  the  Winnebagoes  ceded  to  the 
I'nited  States  certain  lands  in  Illinois,  of  which 
W'iimebago  county  west  of  Rock  river  was  a  part. 
Article  \'  of  the  treaty  granted  sections  of  land 
to  certain  Indian  descendants  of  mixed  blood, 
who  did  not  wish  to  migrate  with  their  tribe. 
Tliirty-six  of  these  descendants  were  given  one 
section  of  land  each,  two  received  two  sections, 
anil  three  two  sections  jointly.  These  grants 
were  unlocated  or  "floating"'  lands.  From  this 
fact  came  the  word  "float,"  by  which  these  sec- 
tions were  popularly  known.  These  grantees 
were  allowed  to  select  a  section,  and  their  choice 
was  to  be  ai)i)roved  by  the  Indian  commissioner, 
and  by  the  (iresident  of  the  United  States.  There 
were  several  of  these  "floats"  in  Rockford  town- 
ship, .some  of  which  now  comprise  the  most  popu- 
lous and  wealthy  portions  of  West  Rockford. 

The  r.lack  Hawk  war  directed  the  attention 
of  eastern  .settlers  to  the  Rock  River  valley.  The 
Sacs  and  Foxes  emigrated  into  Illinois  from  tlu' 
north.  Neither  tribe  was  snfticieiUly  strong  tc. 
successfully  meet  its  enemies.  Hence  they  be- 
came one  nation.  This  allied  tribe  belonged  to 
the  .\lgon<|uin  nation.  RIack  Hawk  was  born 
in  the  Sac  village  on  the  site  of  Rock  Island  in 
1767. 

In  1804  a  treaty  was  negotiated  between  Wil- 
liam Henry  Harrison,  then  governor  of  Indiana 
Territory,  and  the  five  chiefs  of  the  Sac  and  Fox 
nations.  P.y  this  treaty  these  allied  tribes  ceded 
their  land  on  Rock  river  to  the  United  States. 
It  was  provided,  however,  that  the  Indians  should 
retain  these  lands  until  they  were  wanted  for 
settlement.  During  the  war  of  1812  with  Eng- 
lanrl,  r.Iack  Hawk  led  a  faction  in  an  alliance 
with  the  Hritish.  .Amicable  relations  existed  be- 
tween the  Sac  and  Fox  nations  and  the  United 
States  from  the  close  of  the  war  with  England 
until  i8,v>.  In  luly  of  that  year  Keokuk,  another 
.'^ac  chief,  made  a  final  cession  to  the  United 
States  of  the  lands  heUl  by  his  tribe  east  of  the 
Missi.sssippi  river.     .According;  to  this  treaty,  his 


people  were  to  remove  from  Illinois  to  the  coun- 
try west  of  the  Mississippi,  and  they  (|uietly  re- 
moved across  the  river.  This  treaty  was  ne- 
gotiated without  the  consent  of  Black  Hawk, 
and  he  determined  to  resist  the  order  of  the  gov- 
ernment for  the  removal  of  his  tribe.  This  re- 
sistance brought  affairs  to  a  crisis.  Black  Hawk 
always  asserted  that  his  intentions  in  recrossing 
the  river  were  not  hostile.  The  authorities  at 
Washington  and  at  S])ringfield,  however,  con- 
strued his  action  as  a  violation  of  the  treaty  and 
a  declaration  of  war. 

The  cam])aign  lasted  only  seventy-nine  days. 
The  most  notable  incident  was  the  massacre  at 
•Stillman's  Run,  in  Ogle  county,  the  site  of  which 
is  now  marked  by  a  monument.  Black  Hawk, 
in  his  retreat,  followed  the  general  course  of 
Rock  river,  passing  through  what  is  now  East 
Rockford.  The  battle  of  the  Bad  .Vxe  in  Wis- 
consin practically  ended  the  struggle. 

.■\fter  the  cessation  of  hostilities  emigrants  from 
New  England  and  the  middle  states  settled  more 
rapidly  in  northern  Illinois,  which  in  a  few  years 
became  the  most  i)rosperous  portion  of  this  great 
commonwealth. 


.sti:piii;.\   .m.m  k. 


IKST    .SKTTI.KR    1  .V    tOfXTV. 


Stephen  Mack  was  the  first  white  man  who 
made  a  permanent  settlement  in  \\'innebago 
county.  The  exact  time  is  unknown.  It  was 
])robably  about  i8ji).  although  earlier  dales  have 
lieen  given.  He  was  born  in  Poultnoy,  \'crmont, 
and  in  early  life  his  love  of  adventure  drove  him 
into  the  western  wilderness.  .About  1835  he 
l)latted  a  village  at  the  mouth  of  Pecatonica  river, 
near  Rockton.  which  he  calletl  Macktown.  Mack 
married  Ho-no-ne-gah.  a  daughter  of  a  Potta- 
watomie chief.  She  was  the  mother  of  eleven 
children,  and  died  in  1847. 

Stejihen  .Mack  died  in  1850,  and  was  buried  on 
his  farm  beside  his  Indian  wife.  Thirty  vears 
later.  May  iq,  1880,  their  remains  were  removed 
and  buried  in  the  Phillips  cemetery,  near  Har- 
rison. 

In  the  summer  of  1833  John  Phelps,  in  com- 
])any  with  a  Frenchman,  came  down  Rock  river, 
and  made  a  brief  sto|)  at  the  mouth  of  the  creek 
where  Germanicus  Kent  and  Thatcher  Pdake  lo- 
cated claims  a  year  later.  They  continued  their 
journey  down  the  river,  and  selected  a  site  now 
occupied  by  the  town  of  Oregon,  in  Ogle  countv. 

Jo.seph  Kemp  was  in  this  section  from  1830  to 
1840.  and  again  from  1842  to  1844.  In  1890  he 
was  living  at  Michigan  City. 

FIRST   SETTr.llMKN  r    IN    RorKFORP. 

Germanicus  Kent  ancl  Th.itcher  Blake  were  the 
first  permanent  settlers  in  what  is  now  the  citv 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


of  Rockford.  Mr.  Kent  was  born  in  Suffield, 
Connecticut,  in  1790.  In  early  life  he  removed 
to  Huntsville,  Alabama,  and  from  there  he  went 
to  Galena,  Illinois,  where  his  brother.  Rev.  Aratus 
Kent,  was  stationed  as  a  home  missionary. 

Mr.  Blake  was  born  in  Turner,  Oxford  county, 
Maine,  March  16,  iSoc).  In  1834  he  went  to  St. 
Louis,  where  he  heard  reports  of  the  Rock  river 
country  from  soldiers  returning  from  the  Black 
Hawk  war.  Mr.  Blake  visited  Galena,  and  there 
made  the  acquaintance  of  Mr.  Kent. 

In  June.  1834,  Mr.  Kent  and  Mr.  Blake  started 
on  a  tour  of  exploration.  They  went  north  into 
Wisconsin  territory  to  the  Pecatonica  river ; 
thence  in  a  canoe  along-  that  stream  to  its  mouth 
and  then  down  Rock  river  until  they  arrived  at 
the  mouth  of  a  small  tributary,  to  which  the  name 
of  Kent's  creek  was  subsequently  given.  They 
continued  their  journey  down  Rock  river  to 
Dixon's  ferry,  and  from  there  returned  overland 
to  Galena. 

Soon  after  their  arrival  in  Galena  they  pre- 
pared for  a  second  journey.  On  the  evening  of 
August  24  these  pioneers  arrived  at  their  destina- 
tion, and  the  founding  of  Rockford  became  an 
established  fact.  The  party  consisted  of  Ger- 
manicus  Kent,  Thatcher  Blake,  a  Mr.  Evans,  and 
another  man  whose  name  is  unknown. 

Kent  and  Blake  located  claims.  Mr.  Kent's 
claim  comprised  a  tract  of  land  which  included 
the  Tinker  estate,  the  water-power  and  the  estate 
now  owned  by  the  family  of  the  late  Judge 
Church.  ^Ir.  Blake's  claim  included  parts  of 
sections  twenty  and  twenty-nine.  Mr.  Kent  con- 
structed a  dam  and  a  sawmill  on  Kent's  creek,  and 
was  active  in  other  enterprises.  He  was  not  suc- 
cessful in  business,  however,  and  he  could  not 
weather  the  financial  storm  of  1837. 

Mr.  Kent  removed  from  Rockfor<l  in  1844. 
His  last  years  were  spent  in  Blacksburg,  \"ir- 
ginia,  where  he  died  RIarch  i,  1862.  Fortune 
was  more  kind  to  Mr.  Blake.  He  died  October 
8,  1880,  and  left  a  large  estate. 

FIR.ST    .SETTLER    IN    EAST    ROCKFORD. 

The  first  settler  of  what  is  now  East  Rock- 
ford, was  Daniel  Shaw  Haight,  who  arrived 
April  9,  1835.  He  was  a  native  of  New  York, 
and  before  coming  to  Rockford  he  had  selected 
a  claim  near  Geneva,  in  Kane  countv.  Mr.  Haight 
subsequently  came  to  Rockford,  and  selected  a 
tract  of  land  which  comprised  a  considerable  por- 
tion of  what  is  now  the  business  and  most  thickly 
settled  residence  district.  Mr.  Haight  was  a 
rugged,  roistering  pioneer,  and  a  shrewd  man  of 
affairs.  Mr.  Haight's  cabin,  erected  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1835,  was  the  first  structure  on  the  East 
side.  It  was  built  near  the  northeast  corner  of 
State  and  Madison  streets. 

The  first  public  religious  service  in  Rockford 


was  held  the  second  Sunday  in  June,  1835,  at  the 
home  of  Germanicus  Kent,  and  was  conducted 
by  his  brother,  the  Rev.  Aratus  Kent,  of  Galena. 
It  has  been  said  that  on  that  day  every  soul  in 
Rockford  attended  divine  worship. 

PIONEERS  OF  1835-37. 

Among  other  notable  settlers  of  1835  in  the 
township  may  be  mentioned  James  B.  Martyn, 
James  Boswell.  James  Wood,  Eliphalet  Gregory, 
Samuel  Gregory,  Ephraim  Wyman,  Richard 
Montague,  William  E.  Dunbar.  P.  P.  Churchill, 
Milton  Kilburn,  Israel  Morrill,  Ezra  Barnum, 
Anson  Barnum,  and  Dr.  Levi  Moulthrop,  the  first 
resident  physician  of  Winnebago  county,  as  now 
organized.  Dr.  Moulthrop  died  September  12, 
1840. 

The  tide  of  emigration,  which  may  be  said 
to  have  begun  in  1835.  continued  for  several 
vears.  When  the  Rockford  Societry  of  Early  Set- 
tlers was  organized,  January  10,  1870,  its  con- 
stitution provided  that  male  residents  of  the 
county  who  settled  therein  previous  to  1840  were 
eligible  to  membership.  According  to  this  stand- 
ard, such  names  belong  to  the  historic  roll  of 
honor. 

Included  in  the  settlers  in  the  county  in  1836 
were  Thomas  Lake,  a  native  of  the  parish  of  Sel- 
worthy,  in  England ;  Herman  B.  Potter,  Selden 
M.  Church,  Abiram  and  Mary  Morgan,  Samp- 
son George,  an  English  gentleman ;  Dr.  Charles 
Henrv  Richings.  the  second  resident  physician, 
who  came  from  England ;  Bethuel  Houghton, 
Isaac  N.  Cunningham,  Hiram  R.  Enoch,  Jacob 
and  Mary  Posson,  Nathaniel  Loomis  and  son 
Henrv  W. ;  Alonzo  Corey.  Spooner  Ruggles,  A. 
G.  Spaulding.  Homer  Denton.  Charles  P.  Brady, 
Henry  P.  Redington.  Jonathan  Wilson.  Edmund 
Whittlesey. 

The  emigration  of  1837  was  equal  to  that  of 
the  preceding  year.  John  C.  Kemble  was  the 
first  lawver  who  practiced  in  this  county.  He 
became  insane  and  in  1840  he  was  taken  to  an 
eastern  asylum,  where  he  died  a  short  time  after- 
ward. A  few  of  the  settlers  of  1837  may  be 
mentioned :  John  Lake,  who  came  from  England ; 
Henrv  Thurston  and  his  son  John  H. ;  William 
P.  Dennis.  Samuel  D.  Preston.  Eleazer  H.  Potter, 
Nathaniel  Wilder,  George  W.  Brinckerhoflf.Good- 
vcar  A.  Sanford,  Rev.  John  Morrill.  David  D. 
Ailing.  John  Beattie,  John  Piatt,  Benjamin  Kil- 
burn," John  Miller  and  sons.  Jacob  B.,  Thomas 
and  George ;  Isaac  Toms,  Wm.  Twogood,  Wil- 
liam Peters.  Simeon  Harmon.  Lewis  Keith. 
Joseph  Hayes.  Seth  Palmer. 

PECATONICA. 

Contemporaneous  settlements  were  made  in  the 
several    townships    of    Winnebago    county.     The 


8 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


township  of  Pecatonica  was  settled  in  1835.  The 
first  settlers  were  Ephraini  Sumner,  William 
.Sumner.  Mrs.  Dolly  Guilford.  Isaac  Hance,  and 
Elijah  B.  Guilford,  who  is  still  living.  The  tracts 
now  covered  by  the  village  of  Pecatonica  were 
first  owned  by  Daniel  Reed,  and  William  and 
Ephraim  Sumner.  In  1852  Thomas  D.  Robert- 
son and  John  A.  Holland,  both  of  Rockford,  pur- 
chased an  indivitlual  interest  in  the  town  ]jlat. 
and  with  Mr.  Reed  laid  out  the  village.  The  ])lat 
was  filed  for  record  in  December.  1852.  During 
the  spring  of  1853,  arrangements  were  perfected 
by  which  Mr.  Robertson  was  to  make  and  con- 
vey all  titles  to  .said  property. 

N.  F.  Maynard  erected  the  first  building  and 
opened  the  first  grocery  store  in  July.  1832.  .Sul- 
livan Daniels  opened  the  first  ])ublic  hotel,  called 
the  Seward  House.  In  September.  1853.  the 
(ialeiia  &  Chicago  L'nion  railroad  began  the  re- 
cei|)t  and  delivery  of  freight  at  Pecatonica  station, 
under  the  superintendence  of  Josiah  Stevens.  The 
first  great  improvement  for  Pecatonica  was  the 
construction  of  the  turnpike  across  the  bottoms, 
a  distance  of  about  one  and  a  quarter  miles.  It 
was  built  by  subscriptions  at  a  great  expense  for 
that  time,  under  the  direction  of  Daniel  Reed, 
Sr.,  in  tile  autumn  of  1853. 

The  postoffice  was  established  in  the  autumn 
of  1833,  and  Tracy  Smith  was  appointed  post- 
master. 

The  Methodist  lipiscopal  church  was  organized 
in  1833.  by  the  Rev.  I'arton  H.  Cartwright  and 
Rev.  Horatio  X.  Irish.  The  society  met  in  a 
grain  warehouse,  where  all  the  religious  assem- 
blies convened.  In  1834  a  small  house  of  wor- 
ship was  erected,  which  served  the  purpose  of  the 
society  until  i8<)8.  when  a  stone  church  was 
erected.  The  membership  of  the  church  in  Octo- 
lx;r,  igo4.  was  166.  Rev.  Charles  Virden  has 
served  two  years  as  pastor. 

'Hie  I'irst  Congregational  church  was  organ- 
ized February  18,  1834.  under  the  direction  of 
Rev.  Johnson,  with  a  membershii)  of  six.  .\ 
house  of  wor.ship  was  dedicated  in  the  autumn 
of   1855. 

The  Swedish  Evangelical  Lutheran  church 
was  organized  in  the  year  1858.  by  Rev.  .Xndreen. 

The  First  liaptist  society  was  organized  in 
Rock  Run.  May  7,  1843,  under  the  direction  of 
William  .Still well,  and  in  1833  was  removed  to 
Pecatonica.  It  maintained  an  uncertain  existence 
for  .some  years,  and  finally  ilisbandcd.  It  be- 
longed to  the  Rock  River  .Association. 

'Hie  First  L'nivcrsalist  church  was  organized 
August  5.  1835,  with  seven  members.  A  cliapel 
was  built  in   1863,  .and  remodeled  in   1873. 

Tlie  German  i-lvangelical  Lutheran  church  was 
organized  about  1874,  with  a  small  membershii). 

.\  Roman  Catholic  society  was  organized  in 
1871-2  with  fifty  members. 


.\  high  school  building  was  erected  during  the 
summer  of  1862,  and  the  first  school  was  opened 
.\ovember  24  of  the  same  year,  under  the  su- 
pervision of  J.  S.  Mabie,  who  served  as  principal 
until  August  14,  1863.  Mr.  Mabie  afterwards 
became  pastor  of  the  First  P.aptist  church  of 
Rockford. 

The  village  of  Pecatonica  was  incorporated  by 
an  act  of  the  legislature  of  1868-9.  The  bill  for 
the  incor])oration  of  the  village  was  introduced 
by  Hon.  l^phraim  Sumner,  who  was  then  a  mem- 
ber of  the  house.  It  now  has  a  population  of 
about  1,400.  An  opera  house  was  built  in  1897. 
It  is  owned  by  a  stock  company,  and  has  a  seat- 
ing capacity  of  about  Cxio.  Irvin  S.  Sumner  is 
the  postmaster. 

\VINNEB.\GO. 

The  first  settler  in  what  is  now  Winnebago 
township  was  David  Adams  Holt,  who  made  a 
claim  in  1833  to  section  34.  William  Holt  came 
in  1836,  and  another  brother,  Elijah  Holt,  in 
1837.  Other  pioneers  of  1838-39  were  Alby 
Briggs.  and  Duty,  Richard  L..  and  Horace  Hud- 
son, three  brothers.  Duty  Hudson  opened  the 
first  ])ublic  house  in  the  township,  which  was 
known  as  the  Buck  Horn  Tavern,  at  Westfield 
Corners.  The  first  postoffice  in  the  township  was 
established  there,  and  Duty  Hudson  was  ap- 
pointed postmaster.  The  i)lace  is  designated  on 
later  maps  as  Elida. 

The  village  of  Winnebago  was  laid  out  in 
1834  by  [Duncan  Ferguson,  under  the  direction 
of  Thomas  D.  Robertson.  John  .\.  Holland.  John 
VanXortwich.  and  J.  D.  \\'anier.  .\  depot  was 
erected  in  1854.  J.  D.  Warner  was  the  first  sta- 
tion agent,  and  he  held  that  ])osition  twelve  years. 
N.  G.  Warner  built  and  opened  the  first  store  in 
1833.  The  Methodist  Fpiscojial  church  was  or- 
ganized as  a  class,  with  nine  members,  in  1839, 
by  Rev.  Mr.  Worthington.  The  Methodist 
Episcopal  society  was  organized  in  March,  1855, 
with  Rev.  Barton  H.  Cartwright  as  pastor.  A 
chapel  was  erected  the  following  year.  It  was 
during  the  pastorate  of  Rev.  Cartwright,  in  1855, 
that  the  church  at  Westfield  Corners  was 
erected.  This  field  is  now  abandoned.  Rev.  T. 
.•\.  Brewster  has  served  three  years  as  pastor  at 
\\'innebago.  The  church  has  a  membership  of 
one  hundred. 

The  Congregational  society  was  organized 
July  II,  1846,  with  eight  nieml>ers.  at  a  meeting 
called  for  the  purpose  at  Westfield.  In  July  of 
the  following  year  Rev.  James  Hodges  was 
chosen  pastor,  and  remained  ten  years.  He  was 
succeeded  by  Rev.  S.  P.  Sloan,  who  remained 
until  November.  1870.  The  third  pastor  was 
Rev.  Henry  .M.  Daniels.  .\  house  of  worship  was 
completed   and   dedicated  in    1854.     The  cliurch 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


now  has  no  regular  pastor.  The  membership  is 
eighty-four. 

The  Presbyterian  church  was  organized 
August  23,  1868,  with  twenty-four  members.  A 
house  of  worship  was  erected  in  1869,  at  a  cost 
of  $4,300.  The  present  pastor  is  Rev.  M.  S. 
Axtell.  The  membership  is  two  liundred  and 
ten. 

The  Free  Methodist  church  was  organized  with 
ten  members  May  29,  1865.  The  present  mem- 
bership is  sixteen.  The  pastor  is  Rev.  James  H. 
Harvev,  whose  circuit  also  includes  Rockford  and 
Ridott. 

The  Adventists  effected  an  organization  in 
1872,  with  forty-three  members. 

The  first  hotel  in  \\'innebago  was  opened  in  the 
fall  of  1859,  and  was  called  the  Winnebago 
House. 

The  village  of  Winnebago  has  a  population  of 
about  500.  W.  F.  Tritle  is  postmaster.  Al worth, 
a  station  on  the  Illinois  Central,  receives  its  mail 
by  rural  free  delivery  from  Winnebago.  A  post- 
office  was  once  established  at  that  point,  but  it 
has  been  discontinued. 

CHERRY    V.VLLEY. 

The  township  was  first  known  on  the  records 
of  Winnebago  county  as  Butler  precinct.  The 
name  was  changed  to  Cherry  \"alley  upon  the 
adoption  of  township  organization.  The  land 
now  comprising  the  site  of  the  village  was  first 
settled  by  Joseph  P.  Griggs  in  1835.  He  built  a 
small  cabin  on  the  west  side  of  Kishwaukee  river. 
Mr.  Griggs  sold  the  tract  to  James  Works,  and 
he  in  turn  sold  it  to  Edwin  Fitch,  who  laid  out 
the  village  and  filed  the  plat  for  record  Novem- 
ber 17,  1849.  Among  the  early  settlers  follow- 
ing Air.  Griggs  were  A.  C.  Gleason,  and  two 
brothers,  W.  and  S.  W.  Gleason.  Densley  Kiser 
came  in  1836  or  1837.  The  first  store  was  opened 
by  John  Waterman  :  the  first  hotel  was  conducted 
by  Mr.  Ingram,  and  called  the  Ingram  Tavern. 
The  first  postmaster  was  Joseph  Riddelle.  The 
first  grain  warehouse  was  erected  by  Mr.  Cal- 
kins, in  the  autumn  of  1 85 1.  The  Galena  &  Chi- 
cago Union  railroad  was  completed  to  Cherry 
Valley  in  February,   1852. 

The  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized 
by  Rev.  H.  L.  Martin  in  1854.  An  edifice  was 
erected  the  same  year.  The  membership  reported 
to  the  conference  of  1904  was  86.  Rev.  A.  W. 
Gillian  was  assigned  to  the  field  at  the  conference 
last  year. 

The  Universalist  church  edifice  was  erected  in 
1854,  under  the  supervision  of  Rev.  Simon  Park. 
After  a  few  years  the  church  was  abandoned 
and  the  building  was  occupied  by  a  Swedish  re- 
ligious society. 

The   Freewill   Baptist   church    was   erected   in 


1874,  at  a  cost  of  $3,500.  The  village  has  a  pop- 
ulation of  about  500.  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Kittle  is 
postmistress. 

DURAND. 

The  village  of  Durand  is  a  business  center  for 
a  considerable  portion  of  Winnebago  county  lying 
north  of  Pecatonica  river.  The  village  derives 
its  name  from  H.  S.  Durand,  the  first  president 
of  the  Racine  &  Mississippi  railroad.  This  line 
later  became  the  property  of  the  Western  Union, 
and  is  now  owned  by  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  & 
St.  Paul  Railway  company,  and  the  line  extends 
to  Freeport. 

Among  the  pioneers  may  be  mentioned  L.  \'. 
Cleveland,  John  A.  Johnson,  and  Frederic  Sid- 
orus,  all  of"  whom  came  about  1837.  The  loca- 
tion of  the  village  at  this  point  was  the  result 
of  a  compromise  between  various  interested  par- 
ties who  jointlv  purchased  the  site  of  John  Pet- 
tingill.  Price  B.  Webster,  and  Edward  Peppers. 
The  proprietors  were  John  F.  Pettingill,  Bruce 
B.  Webster,  Edward  Pepper,  L.  V.  Cleveland, 
Solomon  Webster,  Duncan  J.  Stewart,  M.  C. 
Churchill,  G.  H.  Sackett.  John  R.  Herring,  Wil- 
liam Randall  and  D.  H.  Smith.  These  gentlemen 
on  the  i8th  day  of  November.  1856,  conveyed 
their  interest  in  trust  to  J.  R.  Herring,  by  whom 
the  town  was  immediately  laid  out.  Durand  was 
for  about  two  years  the  terminus  of  the  Western 
Union  railroad.  The  growth  was  quite  rapid 
during  that  time.  John  F.  Pettingill  erected  a 
hotel,  the  Durand  House,  at  a  cost  of  $13,000. 

The  Methodist  Episcopal  church  was  organized 
in  1837.  Rev.  Mr.  Whitford  preached  the  first 
sermon  at  the  residence  ot  Scott  Robb.  He  was 
succeeded  by  Rev.  McCane,  who  was  on  the 
circuit  one  year  or  more.  A  chapel  was  erected 
in  1857.  the  pastor  in  September,  1905,  was 
Rev.  E.  O.  Stover.  The  membership  reported  to 
the  conference  of  1904  was  58. 

A  Congregational  church  was  organized  June 
II,  1848, "at  Hill's  schoolhouse.  with  seven  mem- 
bers. 

The  Roman  Catholic  church  began  the  erection 
of  a  house  of  worship  in  1865-66,  which  house 
of  worship  remained  in  an  unfinished  condition 
for  several  years.  Father  Cotter,  of  Pecatonica, 
is  the  officiating  priest,  and  holds  services  every 
third  Sunday. 

A  Lutheran  church,  affiliated  with  the  Nor- 
wegian svnod,  is  now  in  process  of  construc- 
tion. 

The  village  has  a  population  estimated  at  700. 
Miss  Lillian  J.  Harris  is  postmistress.  There  is 
a  town  hall,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  about 
300.  There  are  two  banks :  The  Durand  State 
Bank,  with  a  capital  of  $25,000:  and  the  Citizens' 
Bank,  a  private  banking  house. 


lO 


PAST    A\D     PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


m:\v  mi  I.  ford. 

Prominent  among  the  pioneers  of  New  Mil- 
ford  townsliip  were  D.  S.  Slnimway.  Horace 
Miller,  and  Samuel  Pirown.  A  town  was  started 
by  the  river  at  what  is  known  as  the  Old  Slnnn- 
way  ])lace.  At  one  time  there  were  from  thirty- 
five  to  forty  frames  erected  there ;  but  only  a  few 
of  them  were  enclosed.  This  fact  gave  the  place 
the  ai>i)ropriatc  name  of  "Rib-Town." 

In  iS?8  Dr.  .\.  M.  Catlin  came  from  the  West- 
ern Reserve  in  Ohio,  in  comjjany  with  the  Rev. 
Hiram  Foote  and  Silas  Tvlcr.  They  were  of 
New  luijjland  stock,  and  were  part  of  a  move- 
ment to  found  an  institution  of  learning  similar 
to  the  one  then  flourishing  at  Oberlin.  Ohio. 
These  missionary  educational  managers  selected 
a  site  for  their  institution  near  the  mouth  of  the 
Kishwaukee  river.  .\  large  building  was  begun, 
but  never  completed.  It  remained  for  years  as  a 
reminder  of  the  first  attem])t  to  found  a  seminary 
in  W'iiuK'bago  county. 

In  i83(>-40  (ieorge  W.  Lee  i)latte(l  a  town  on 
the  up|H'r  side  of  Kishwaukee  river,  at  its  junction 
with  Rock  river.  Quite  a  town  was  actually  built, 
with  two  stores  and  a  blacksmith  shop.  P)Oth 
"Rib- Town"  and  Mr.  Lee's  plat  were  named 
Kishwaukee.  but  the  former  was  abandoned  be- 
fore Cieorge  W.  Lee  jilattod  the  second.  The  lat- 
ter was  sometimes  called  Lcetown.  in  honor  of  its 
founder. 

The  present  hamlet  of  Kishwaukee  is  a  short 
distance  below  the  mouth  of  the  Kishwaukee 
river.  There  is  a  postoffice  and  a  \\'eslcvan 
Methodist  church,  which  was  organized  May  i", 
1844.  with  seven  meml)ers.  The  church  was  re- 
organized in  1863.  A  liouse  of  worship  was 
erected  in  1868  and  a  parsonage  in  1870. 

The  hamlet  of  New  Milford  is  in  the  eastern 
part  of  the  township.  The  Chicago,  Burlington 
&  Quincy  railroad  passes  by  it  about  half  a  mile 
to  the  west. 

There  have  been  several  atteni])ts  to  organize 
churches  in  the  village.  The  Methodist  l".|)isco- 
pal  church  began  as  a  class  about  1838.  The 
church  no\v  has  its  own  property,  and  maintains 
regular  ^rvices.  The  membership  in  October. 
KJ04,  wiis  122,  Rev.  S.  W,  Lauck  has  served 
two  years  as  pastor.  The  church  at  Davis  Ju'ic- 
tion  also  belongs  to  this  circuit. 

The  Congregationalist  society  built  a  church 
in  1877.  This  field  has  been  abandoned,  and  the 
church  builcling  is  now  used  as  a  schoolhou.se. 

KOCKTON. 

The  fact  has  already  been  noted  in  this  liis- 
torical  sketch  that  .Stephen  .Mack  was  the  first 
white  settler  in  what  is  now  Rockton  township. 
Those  who  next  succeeded  him  were  William  Tal- 


cott  and  his  son,  Thomas  B.  Talcott,  who  made 
claims  July  4,  1835.  These  gentlemen  may  be 
regardeil  as  the  first  settlers  of  the  village.  Two 
other  sons  of  William  Talcott,  Sylvester  and 
Walter  Henry,  also  settled  there  in  1835,  and  a 
fourth  son,  \Vait  Talcott,  came  in  1838. 

The  first  store  was  opened  by  J.  .\mbrose  and 
Timothy  Wigiit  in  1837.  There  is  at  Rockton 
more  head  and  fall  than  at  any  other  point  on 
Rock  river.  A  sawmill  was  erecteil  in  1838,  and 
a  tlouring  mill  in  1839,  by  Messrs,  Talcott  and 
.\dams.  The  village  was  laid  out  by  William 
Talcott  in  1840,  but  the  ]ilat  was  not  filed  for 
record  until  May  30,  1844.  The  i)ro])rietors  were 
.Messrs.  Talcott  and  .\dams.  The  first  bridge 
across  Rock  river  above  the  month  of  Pecatonica 
river  was  built  about  1845.  Two  bridges  below 
the  mouth  of  this  stream  were  built  a  few  years 
later.  The  first  hotel  was  built  l)y  Jacob  Hyatt, 
in  1839.  It  was  a  frame  structure  on  the  south 
side  of  .Main  street.  The  next  hotel  was  the  New 
jjigland  house,  completed  in  1S46.  The  third 
public  house,  a  brick  building,  erected  by  Porter 
X'inton,  was  kept  by  Samuel  .\dams,  and  was 
called  the  Mansion  House. 

The  early  history  of  llu-  Rm-ktun  Baptist 
church  is  clo.sely  identified  with  that  of  the  Ros- 
coc  Baptist  church.  The  Roscoe  and  Rockton 
I 'nit  0(1  Baptist  church  was  organized  in  June, 
1 85 1.  In  1854  the  services  at  Roscoe  were  dis- 
continued for  lack  of  suitable  accommodations. 
June  28,  1856,  the  church  voted  to  build  a  house 
of  worshi]}  at  Rockton,  and  January  13,  1858, 
the  building  was  dedicated.  Rev.  James  \'eness 
sujjplied  the  church  until  1857,  when  Rev.  D.  B. 
Purinton  liecame  pastor.  The  church  enjoyed  a 
rapid  growth  during  this  time,  when  ninety- 
three  united  in  seven  years.  The  following  have 
been  iiastors  since  Rev.  Purinton's  resignation : 
Rev.  C.  T.  Roe.  Rev.  A.  L.  Wilkinson.  Rev.  W. 
Whitney.  Rev.  James  I'.uchanan.  Rev.  W.  M. 
Robinson.  Rev.  .\.  Whitman,  Rev.  ^^'.  G.  Evans, 
Rev.  T.  F.  Hamilton.  Rev.  1.  I.  Phelps,  Rev.  H. 
L.  St'eele,  Rev.  J.  C.  Hart.  Rev.  H.  Topping. 
Rev.  Stephen  Crickett.  Rev.  W.  L.  Tones.  Rev. 
C.  W.  Woodruff.  Rev.  T.  C.  Pedersmi.  Rev.  C. 
J.  Eddy. 

The  First  Congregational  church  was  or- 
ganized in  1830  by  Rev.  William  .Xdams.  Tlie 
first  meetings  for  public  worship  were  held  at 
different  residences,  imtil  about  1840,  when  a 
small  temporary  structure  was  erected.  .-\  sub- 
stantial stone  building  was  built  in  1848,  at  a 
cost  of  about  five  thousand  dollars.  The  society 
has  a  bell  which  was  the  gift  of  William  Tal- 
cott. 

Tn  1855  Rev.  Holland  Richardson  was  sent  to 
Rockton  as  a  missionary,  and  organized  a  small 
band  of  Christian  workers.  In  1856  they  were 
organized  as  a  Methodist  station  under  the  pastor- 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


ate  of  Rev.  C.  F.  Wright.  A  church  was  erected 
in  1859.  The  pastor  in  September,  1905,  was 
Rev.   O.  J.   Simmons.     The  membership  is   148. 

The  Racine  &  Mississippi  Railroad  reached 
Rockton  October  29,  1856.  E.  L.  Stiles  was  ap- 
pointed agent  and  he  held  that  position  for 
many  years.  September  10,  1872.  Rockton  be- 
came an  incorporated  town.  There  have  been 
three  paper  mill  plants  in  Rockton.  One  of 
these,  which  was  burned  down,  was  never  re- 
built. The  two  now  in  operation  are  owned  by 
Bradner  Smith  &  Co.  and  J.  M.  Coons.  Three 
flour  mills  have  also  been  destroyed  by  fire,  and 
never  rebuilt. 

The  occasion  of  the  fiftieth  anniversary  of  the 
founding  of  the  public  school  in  Rockton  was 
commemorated  under  the  direction  of  the  prin- 
cipal, W.  W.  Austin.  At  that  time  W.  A.  Tal- 
cott  announced  that  he  and  his  father  would  give 
a  lot,  building  and  furniture  for  a  pul)lic  library, 
as  a  memorial  of  the  Talcott  family,  upon  condi- 
tion that  the  township  would  support  it  by  a  tax. 
This  generous  offer  was  accepted.  Thomas  B. 
Talcott  gave  the  nucleus  of  books  and  there  have 
been  subsequent  gifts.  The  library  now  contains 
about  foiu"  thousand  volumes. 

ROSCOE. 

August  3.  1835,  Robert  J.  Cross,  of  Coldwater, 
Mich.,  and  Col.  Von  Hovenburg,  with  a  Potta- 
watomie Indian  for  a  guide,  came  from  Mil- 
waukee into  what  is  now  the  township  of  Ros- 
coc.  Mr.  Ross  bought  a  claim  of  Lavec,  an  em- 
ploye of  Stephen  T\Iack,  upon  which  he  subse- 
quently settled.  In  September  of  the  same  year, 
Elijah  H.  Brown,  James  B.  Lee,  and  William 
Alead  came  from  La  Porte  county.  Indiana. 
Lentil  a  postofiice  was  established  at  Beloit.  the 
first  settlers  obtained  their  mail  at  Chicago.  In 
the  spring  of  1837  a  postoffice  was  established  at 
the  village  of  Roscoe,  and  M.  P.  Abell  was  ap- 
pointed postmaster.  The  village  was  laid  out 
under  the  direction  of  Messrs.  Lelands,  Jenks  and 
Tuttle,  and  the  plat  was  filed  for  record  August 
3,  1841.  The  townsliip  and  village  derived  their 
names  from  William  Roscoe.  a  celebrated  English 
biographer. 

There  are  two  churches,  ^Methodist  Episcopal 
and  Congregational.  The  membership  of  the 
former  was  reported  to  the  Rock  River  confer- 
ence of  1904  as  128.  The  pastor  the  last  confer- 
ence year  was  Rev.  T.  E.  Fluck,  who  also  sup- 
plied the  church  at  Harlem. 

The  Congregational  church  was  organized  No- 
vember 28,  1843,  with  eighteen  members.  June 
3,  1858,  the  wife  and  seven  children  of  Rev.  Ills- 
ley,  the  pastor,  were  killed  or  drowned.  In 
building  the  Madison  branch  of  the  Chicago  & 
Galena    railroad,   a   liigh    embankment    liad   been 


thrown  up  at  the  crossing  of  the  creek  about  half 
a  mile  above  the  village.  The  culvert  was  too 
small  for  the  volume  of  water,  and  up  to  the 
afternoon  of  the  day  of  the  awful  catastrophe,  a 
pond  two  miles  long,  half  a  mile  in  width  and 
from  twenty-five  to  thirty  feet  in  depth  had 
formed  above  the  embankment.  About  midnight 
the  culvert  caved  in,  the  embankment  gave  way, 
and  the  water  rushed  down  in  one  mighty  torrent, 
carrying  away  several  houses  in  its  maddened 
rush,  among  which  was  the  brick  house  occu- 
pied by  Mr.  Illsley  and  family,  which  toppled 
over  and  buried  beneath  its  ruins  the  mother  and 
seven  children.  Mr.  Illsley,  who  had  lost  a  leg, 
was  comparatively  helpless  and  was  carried  away 
by  the  flood  nearly  down  to  the  Rock  river,  where 
he  caught  in  a  tree  and  held  on  until  he  was 
found  by  L.  W.  Richardson,  who  waded  in  and 
carried  him  out.  In  the  Roscoe  Cemetery,  near 
the  northeast  corner,  the  eight  bodies  of  one  fam- 
ily, who  had  not  all  been  united  for  some  time 
till  the  day  of  their  death,  were  buried  in  one  day. 

Rev.  Eaton,  the  venerable  father  of  President 
Eaton,  of  Beloit  college,  was  pastor  of  this  church 
for  many  years. 

The  Beloit  and  Madison  division  of  the  Chi- 
cago &  N'orthwestern  railway  passes  near  the  vil- 
lage of  Roscoe.  The  Rockford.  Beloit  &  Janes- 
ville  electric  line  passes  directly  through  the  vil- 
lage. 

Gni.FoRn. 

In  August,  1835,  William  E.  Enoch,  the  eldest 
son  of  Henry  Enoch,  accompanied  by  two  or 
three  men  from  Will  county,  came  to  what  is 
now  Guilford  township  on  a  land  prospecting 
tour.  \\'hile  out  on  this  trip,  young  Enoch  was 
taken  sick  and  returned  liome.  In  September 
following,  his  father,  Henry  Enoch,  and  brothers, 
Richard  H.  and  A.  I.  Enoch,  started  out,  and, 
following  the  direction  of  William,  struck  Rock 
river  at  Rockford.  Leaving  his  sons  in  camp, 
he  started  out,  and,  going  northeast  from  there 
two  or  three  miles,  he  struck  the  spring  brook 
known  as  Bucklen  creek.  Believing  this  stream 
came  from  springs,  he  followed  it  to  its  source, 
which  he  found  in  the  northeast  corner  of  sec- 
tion II,  town  44,  range  2,  now  in  the  town  of 
Guilford.  Here  in  the  centre  of  a  great  prairie 
he  found  a  spring  of  water  25  feet  in  diameter, 
the  water  about  24  inches  deep  and  coming  up 
from  numerous  places  in  the  bottom  through 
snow-white  sand.  The  water  was  cold,  and  clear 
as  crystal :  the  bank  of  the  spring  fringed  with 
tall  grass  and  bright  prairie  flowers.  He  was  so 
charmed  with  the  location,  the  great  spring,  the 
apparent  fertility  of  the  soil,  and  the  general 
beauty  of  the  surroundings,  that  he  at  once  made 
up  his  mmd  to  make  it  the  tuture  home  of  him- 
self and  family.     Going  to  a  thicket  of  hazel  and 


12 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


younp  ])oplar  trees  a  few  rods  distant,  he  cut  a 
small  stake,  and  plantiiiji^  it  on  tlie  bank  of  the 
springy,  declared  it  his  "claim."  This  springs  be- 
came dry  in  the  early  'seventies.  This  location 
was  known  for  many  years  as  the  h\i^  sprinfj  of 
"L'ncle  luioch"  in  the  jirairie.  .Mr.  ImiocIi  made 
tnis  claim  his  permanent  home  until  the  autumn 
of  1856.  ( )ther  early  settlers  of  (hiilfurd  were 
Elisha  -V.  Kirk.  Thaddeus  Davis,  Sr..  and  his 
sons,  David  .\..  Thaddeus,  Jr.,  and  Daniel; 
Harry  Doolittle,  J.  H.  Kirk, "Elisha  A.  Kirk, 
Giles  C.  Hard.  G.  L.  Horton.  and  Dr.  Charles 
Cnurcli. 

A  town  hall  was  erected  about  ten  years  ago. 
tile  fnnils  for  which  were  raiseil  by  ta.x  levy.  Its 
cost  was  alxnit  Si.^cx).  It  is  on  the  Guilford 
Center  road,  five  miles  northeast  of  Rockford. 

HARRISON. 

Harrison  is  one  of  tlie  four  extreme  northern 
townships  of  \\'innebag;o  countv.  The  first  set- 
tlement in  this  townshi])  was  made  in  the  fall  of 
•^35  '•>■  «i  ^Ir.  Hrayton,  who  made  a  claim  on 
section  35.  In  the  sprins:  of  1836,  Mr.  Drayton 
moved  on  his  claim  and  commenced  makinpf  a 
farm. 

In  1840  the  settlers  desired  to  form  a  new  pre- 
cinct, and  it  was  necessary  to  present  a  petition  to 
the  county  commissioners  to  have  a  new  precinct 
formed.  .\t  that  time  a  majority  of  the  settlers 
were  democrats,  and  several  of  the  citizens  being 
together  one  day.  they  pitched  upon  Isaac  Parker 
to  circulate  a  petition.  He  consented  to  do  so 
on  condition  that  some  of  his  neighbors  (who 
were  Democrats)  would  work  for  him  hoeing 
corn  while  he  was  absent,  to  which  thev  readilv 
agreed.  Parker  then  drew  up  his  jietition.  went 
to  Rockford.  where  the  countv  commissioners 
were  in  session,  and  had  no  difficultv  in  getting 
a  new  precinct  formed,  but  was  asked  what  name 
thev  should  give  it.  Parker,  being  a  whig,  im- 
mediately answered.  Harrison,  which  name  was 
adopted.  When  Parker  returned  and  told  how 
well  he  succeeded,  his  democratic  friends  were 
greatly  rlisgusteil  with  the  name.  When  the 
countv  was  organized  imder  townsliij)  organiza- 
tion the  name  was  continued. 

Its  war  record  is  notable.  The  whole  number 
of  enlistments  was  122:  whole  number  killed 
or  died  in  the  service,  24.  It  is  believed  that  this 
town  furnished  a  larger  numlier  of  enlistments  in 
projHirtion  to  the  iiopulation  to  the  number  of 
voters  than  any  other  town  in  the  county.  Of 
the  foregoing  enlistments.  12  were  in  Wisconsin 
regiments,  and  a  numl>er  are  credited  to  other 
townships. 

The  village  of  Harrison  is  in  the  northeastern 
part  of  the  township,  at  the  junction  of  Sugar  and 
Pecatonica  river-;.     It  is  a  small  settlement  ab.iut 


one  mile  almost  directly  south  of  Shirland.  It 
has  no  railroad  facilities,  and  therefore  has  made 
comparatively  little  progress  since  the  early  days. 
There  is  a  Congregational  church,  with  a  mem- 
bership of  forty-four,  and  the  ])uli)it  is  su])plied 
by  the  jjastor  of  .Shirland.  The  Modern  Wood- 
men have  erected  a  hall,  which  is  used  for  public 
meetings  and  lodge  purposes. 

SHIKI..\.\IX 

The  townshi]!  of  Shirland  borders  on  the  state 
line.  The  village  of  the  same  name  is  in  the 
eastern  part  of  the  township.  It  was  originally 
called  Kaoota.  an  Indian  name.  The  village  has 
never  been  incor])orated.  It  has  a  ])opu]ation  of 
about  125,  and  is  on  the  Chicago.  Milwaukee  & 
St.  Paul  road.  Thomas  B.  Boswell  was  appointed 
postmaster  October  29.  1869,  and  served  until 
about  ten  years  ago,  when  he  was  succeeded  by 
his  son,  George  E.  P>oswell,  who  still  retains  the 
office.  .A  town  hall  was  erected  about  three  years 
ago.  in  which  all  township  elections  and  political 
meetings  are  held. 

The  religious  needs  of  the  community  are  sup- 
])lied  bv  two  churches.  The  Methodist  Episcopal 
belongs  to  the  Freeport  district  and  had  a  mem- 
bershi|3  in  October.  1904.  of  208.  The  i)astor  is 
Rev.  J.  C.  Jones,  who  has  served  seven  years. 
The  Congregational  church  is  one  mile  and  a 
f|uarter  north  of  the  village.  It  has  thirty-three 
members.     The  ])astiir  is  Rev.  Selby. 

SKWAUn. 

Seward  forms  the  southwest  corner  of  Win- 
nebago comity.  It  is  in  this  township  that  the 
highest  i)rice  has  been  jiaid  for  farm  land  in  this 
count}-.  The  village  of  Seward  is  on  the  Illinois 
Central.  .\  Roman  Catholic  church  stands  some 
distance  north  of  the  railroad  track. 

Perhaps  few  persons  now  living  ever  heard 
of  the  N'ancelxirough  ])ostoffice.  X'anceborough 
was  another  name  for  Twelve-Mile  Grove,  on  the 
State  road,  about  half  way  from  Rockford  to 
I'reeport.  Ejihraini  Sumner  settled  near  there 
when  he  came  to  Winnebago  county,  in  1835.  He 
engaged  in  milling  and  farming  near  Twelve-Mile 
( irove,  and  Ix'came  an  extensive  landowner, 

February  11,  1845.  ^^^-  Sumner  was  commis- 
sioned postmaster  of  N'anceborough.  He  was  to 
retain  the  office  during  the  i)leasure  of  the  post- 
master-general. The  commission  is  signed  by  C. 
Wickliffe.  who  was  postmaster-general  during 
the  administration  of  John  Tyler.  The  seal  is  the 
figure  of  a  man  on  horseback,  with  a  small  mail- 
bag  upon  his  back.  Both  man  and  horse  are 
apparently  in  great  haste  to  reach  the  next  sta- 
tion. This  commission,  now  in  possession  of 
Hon.   P..   p..  Sumner,  is  well  preserved,  although 


PAST  AXD  PRESEXT  OE  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


it  was  issued  sixty  years  ago.  The  elder  Sum- 
ner built  a  stone  house  at  Vanceborough,  which 
is  still  in  a  good  state  of  preservation,  and  has 
well-nigh  outlived  the  memory  of  the  town. 
These  primitive  villages  along  the  old  stage  lines 
were  superseded  by  the  railway  station,  and  thev 
now  scarcely  live  in  memory. 

.Among  the  early  settlers  of  the  township  were. 
A.  Bridgeland,  Mrs.  Sylvia  Conover,  Samuel 
Eaulkner,  William  Fitzgerald,  Jacom  M.  Hamil- 
ton, Rev.  Chester  Hoisington,  Marcus  L.  Lowrev, 
and  Hon.  Laurence  McDonald. 

H.\RLEM. 

The  first  settlement  in  Harlem  township  was 
on  the  east  side  of  Rock  river,  on  what  was  called 
Big  Bottom,  nearly  opposite  the  stone  quarry. 
A  man  named  \\'attles  staked  out  his  farm  into 
lots  and  streets,  and  called  it  Scipio :  but  even  its 
classic  name  did  not  give  it  prestige.  The  pro- 
prietor built  the  only  house  ever  completed.  The 
stakes  remained  for  several  years,  until  they  were 
plowed  under  by  the  owner,  who  could  not  give 
away  his  lots. 

Other  early  settlers  were  P.  S.  Doolittle.  G.  C. 
Hutchins,  W.  T.  Magoon,  Peter  Mabie,  Robert 
Smith,  and  L}inan  Taylor. 

The  village  of  Harlem  is  a  small  station  on 
the  Kenosha  division  of  the  Chicago  &  North- 
western railway.  There  is  a  Alethodist  church 
some  distance  from  the  station. 

Argyle  is  another  hamlet  on  the  Kenosha 
division,  near  the  Boone  county  line.  That  por- 
tion of  the  county  was  settled  in  an  early  day  by 
Scotchmen  from  Argyleshire.  Their  descend- 
ants support  one  of  the  most  prosperous  country 
churches  in  Blinois.  The  present  house  of  wor- 
ship was  dedicated  Eebruary  14.  1878.  The  ser- 
mon was  preached  by  the  Rev.  Francis  L.  Patton, 
of  Chicago,  but  later  president  of  Princeton  uni- 
versity. The  church  will  seat  six  hundred  and 
cost,  with  furniture,  $12,796.  Rev.  B.  E.  S.  Ely, 
Sr.,  was  pastor  at  the  time  the  church  was  dedi- 
cated.    The  manse  adjoins  the  church. 

BURRITT. 

Burritt  is  one  of  the  few  townships  in  Win- 
nebago county,  which  has  no  railroad.  There  are 
no  towns  or  villages  with  the  single  exception  of 
W^enpletown,  in  the  eastern  part.  A  postofifice 
was  formerly  located  there,  but  it  has  been  su- 
perseded by  the  rural  free  delivery.  There  is  a 
church  in  the  township  on  section  14. 

Settlements  were  made  in  this  township  at  an 
early  date.  James  Atkinson  came  from  England 
in  1837.  Other  pioneers  were  Thomas  J.  Atwood, 
Albert  J.  Atwood,  George  A.  Atkinson.  Edward 
H.  Boomer,  Jacob  B.  Conklin,  William  Dickin- 
son, Jesse  Herrington,  Joseph  Jennings,  William 
Ludley,  and  Jefferson  Southard. 


OWEN. 

Owen  is  a  township  lying  directly  north  of 
Rockford.  The  Chicago,  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul 
railroad  passes  through  nearly  its  entire  length 
north  and  south.  There  is  a  station  at  Latham 
Park.  There  was  once  a  postoffice  there,  but  it 
has  been  superseded  by  the  rural  route. 

Among  the  early  settlers  may  be  mentioned 
Patten  Atwood,  who  went  there  in  1839 ;  Mowry 
Brown,  who  first  came  to  Rockwood  in  1838; 
Wadleigh  Favor,  William  Halley,  Frederick  M. 
Knapp,  James  B.  Lee,  Stephen'  O.  Thompson, 
Isaac  W.  Seaverns. 

L.VONA. 

Laona  is  the  northwestern  township  of  Win- 
nebago county.  There  are  no  towns  or  villages 
in  the  township.  No  railroad  passes  through"  it, 
and  there  is  only  one  church  within  its  borders. 
Among  the  early  settlers  of  the  township  were 
Peter  Johnson.  Niles  Patterson,  William  Phipps, 
and  Rienza  Webster. 

The  late  Judge  Church  is  authority  for  the 
statement  that  the  population  of  the  county  in 
June,  1837,  was  1,086.  In  1840  it  was  4,609;  1850, 
11,773  :  i860,  24,491  ;  1870,  29,301  ;  1880,  30,505  ; 
1890,  39,938;  1900,  47,845. 

ORG.VXIZ.VnON    OF  THE   COUNTY. 

In  the  summer  and  autumn  of  1835  the  settlers 
in  this  section  began  to  agitate  the  question  of 
local  government.  This  matter  was  promptly 
brought  to  the  attention  of  the  state  legislature. 

The  counties  organized  in  northern  Illinois 
prior  to  1835  were  much  larger  than  thev  are  at 
present.  At  that  time  Cook,  La  Salle  and  Jo 
Daviess  counties  extended  from  Lake  ^Michigan 
to  the  Mississippi  river.  Jo  Daviess  was  or- 
ganized in  1827.  It  then  extended  east  of  Rock 
river,  and  included  the  territory  now  comprised 
in  nine  counties. 

Cook  and  La  Salle  counties  were  organized  in 
1 83 1.  It  was  the  evident  intention  at  that  time 
to  subdivide  these  counties  at  a  later  day,  to 
meet  the  demands  of  an  increased  population.  A 
map  of  Illinois,  printed  in  1835,  represents  Cook 
countv  with  territory  attached  on  the  north  for 
judicial  purposes.  La  Salle  has  northern  ter- 
ritory annexed  for  the  same  purposes,  corre- 
sponding to  portions  of  McHenry,  Kane,  Winne- 
bago and  Ogle  counties,  and  all  of  Boone  and 
De  Kalb,  as  at  present  organized.  Jo  Daviess  is 
shown  with  annexed  territory  on  the  east  and 
south.  The  distinction  between  Cook  and  La 
Salle  counties  proper,  and  their  annexed  portions, 
appears  to  have  been  in  the  fact  that  the  former 
were  surveyed,  while  the  latter  were  not.  Al- 
though Jo  Daviess  county  was  organized  eight 


14 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


years  before  the  ma])  was  ])riiiteil,  the  map  does 
nut  even  represent  the  cmnity  as  surveyed.  The 
ci>nilitions,  however,  in  [i->  Daviess  were  pecuHar. 
The  country  near  dalena  inchiding  a  mining 
camp,  witli  (piitc  a  considerable  po|)iilation.  and 
thus  re(|uired  a  local  jjovennnent.  Hence  the  or- 
gfanization  of  the  county  preceded  by  several 
years  the  government  survey  of  the  land. 

The  state  legislature  at  that  time  held  its  ses- 
sions at  \andalia.  .\n  act  of  January  i6,  1836, 
provided  for  the  organization  of  Mcllenry,  Win- 
nel)ago,  Kane.  Ogle  and  Wiiiteside  counties,  and 
the  reorganization  of  Jo  Daviess.  Section  two 
of  the  law  created  Winnebago  county,  with 
boundaries  as  follows :  "Commencing  at  the 
southeast  corner  of  township  number  forty-three, 
range  lunnber  four,  east  of  the  third  ])rincipal 
meridian,  and  running  thence  west  to  the  said 
meridian,  thence  north  along  the  line  of  said 
meridian,  to  the  southeast  corner  of  townshii) 
number  twenty-six.  in  range  number  eleven,  east 
of  tiie  fourth  principal  meridian;  thence  west  to 
the  dividing  line  between  ranges  number  seven 
and  eight :  thence  north  along  said  line  to  the 
northern  boundary  of  the  state :  thence  east  along 
said  boundary  line  to  the  northeast  corner  of 
range  munber  four,  east  of  the  third  ])rincipal 
meridian  :  thence  south  to  tlie  place  of  beginning." 

Wimiebago  was  thus  formed  from  the  attached 
portions  of  Jo  Daviess  and  La  Salle  counties. 
That  part  of  the  county  east  of  the  third  prin- 
ci(>al  meridian  was  taken  from  La  Salle ;  the 
portion  west  of  this  meriiliau  was  detached  from 
Jo  Daviess.  .\s  at  first  organized,  Winnebago 
count V  was  almost  exactly  double  its  jiresent  size, 
and  included  all  of  I'loone  county,  and  the  eastern 
two  townshij)  ranges  of  what  is  now  Stephenson 
county.  Wimiebago  has  never  been  enlarged  or 
reduced  from  its  original  form  on  its  northern 
or  southern  boundary. 

TIIK    riRST    EI.IXTIO.N. 

The  law  to  establish  the  county  ordered  an 
election  to  be  held  at  the  house  of  Ciermanicus 
Kent,  on  the  first  Monday  in  ^^ay.  for  sheriff, 
coroner,  recorder,  surveyor,  and  three  county 
commissioners,  who  should  hold  their  offices 
until  the  next  succeeding  general  election,  and 
until  tlieir  successors  were  <|iialified.  The  elec- 
tion, liowever,  was  not  held  until  the  next  .Vug^ist. 

No  county  created  by  this  act  was  to  be  or- 
ganized, and  an  election  held,  until  a  majority  of 
the  voters  of  the  prospective  county  had  ad- 
dressed a  petition  for  the  same  to  the  judge  of 
the  sixth  judicial  circuit,  or.  in  his  absence,  to 
another  circuit  judge.  The  voters  were  also  re- 
quired to  give  sufficient  proof  that  the  jiroposed 
county  ountained  not  less  than  three  hundred  and 
fifty  white  inhabitants.  This  task  was  under- 
taken b\  Dr.  Daniel  II.  Whitney,  who  had  settled 
at   I'.elvidere. 


These  facts  were  communicated  to  Judge 
Thomas  II.  Ford.  He  thereupon  issued  an  order, 
dated  July  15,  1836,  for  an  election  to  be  held  at 
the  house  of  Daniel  S.  Haight,  on  the  first  Mon- 
day in  .\ugust.  The  statute  had  designated  an 
earlier  date  and  another  place  for  this  election ; 
but  inasmuch  as  the  organization  of  the  county 
dcix'nded  upon  a  prescribed  population,  a  subse- 
(|uent  section  of  the  law  necessarily  referred  the 
time  and  place  of  such  election  to  the  presiding 
judg-e  of  the  circuit.  I'nder  the  first  constitution 
of  Illinois,  all  elections  for  state  and  coimty  of- 
ficers were  held  the  first  Monday  in  .Vugust. 

Gcrmanicus  Kent,  Joseph  P.  Griggs  and  Rob- 
ert J.  Cross  were  chosen  judges  of  election. 
Judge  Ford's  order  has  been  framed,  and  is  pre- 
served in  the  office  of  Captain  Lewis  I*".  Lake, 
the  circuit  clerk,  as  an  interesting  relic  of  those 
early  days. 

The  election  was  held  on  Monday,  .\ugnst  ist, 
in  a  decidedly  primitive  maimer.  Written  or 
I)rinted  ballots  had  not  then  been  introduced  into 
Illinois.  Under  the  old  constitution,  all  votes 
were  to  be  given  vive  voce  until  otherwise  pro- 
vided by  the  general  assembly :  and  up  to  this 
time  no  change  had  been  made, 

.Simon  P.  Doty,  Thomas  I!.  Talcott  ami  Wil- 
liam E.  Dunbar  were  elected  county  commission- 
ers :  Daniel  S.  Haight,  sheriff:  Daniel  H.  Whit- 
ney, recorder ;  Eliphalet  Gregory,  coroner ;  and 
D.  A.  Spaulding,  surveyor.  The  results  of  the 
election  for  member  of  congress  and  represent- 
atives in  the  general  assembly  are  given  later  in 
this  sketch. 

One  hundred  and  twenty  votes  were  cast  at 
this  election.  The  names  of  the  voters  were  as 
follows:  David  Caswell.  George  Caswell,  David 
I'.arnes,  P.  P.  Burnham,  Thomas  Crane,  Thatcher 
lllake,  Seth  Scott.  Joshua  Fawcett,  John  Bar- 
rett, Jeremiah  Frame,  John  F.  Thayer,  William 
Randall,  John  \\'elch,  Joshua  Cromer.  John 
Slavins.  David  Blake.  William  P.arlow,  Joseph  B. 
liaker,  Daniel  Fairchild.  Livingston  Robins, 
.\lfred  Shattuck.  .Mva  Trask,  William  Smith,  Ira 
Haskins,  John  Bunts.  .Simon  P.  Dotv.  Milton  S. 
Mason.  Timothy  Caswell.  Charles  H.  Pane.  Royal 
Briggs,  Solomon  Watson,  .Xbram  Watson, 
Ralzimond  Gardner,  Mason  Sherburne,  John  K, 
Towner,  John  G.  Lockridgc,  John  .\Ilen.  John 
Lovesse,  .\.  E.  Courtright,  Henry  Enoch.  Ephr- 
aim  Sumner.  S.  P.rown,  .\.  R.  Dimmick,  Sanniel 
Hicks,  H.  M.  Wattles,  T.  R.  J.  English.  Oliver 
Robins,  J.  P.  Griggs,  .Aaron  V.  Taylor,  Luke 
Joslin,  William  Sumner.  David  D.  Elliott,  John 
Handy,  Jacob  Pettyjohn.  Daniel  .S.  Haight,  Jacob 
Keyt,  John  Lefonton,  John  Kelsoe,  William  R. 
Wheeler.  M.  Ewing,  Charles  Works,  Sidney 
Twogood,  Phineas  Churchill.  Thomas  P>.  Talcott, 
.Austin  .Andrews,  Thonias  Lake,  Benjamin  Mc- 
Connell,  Benjamin  DePue,  Lewis  Haskins,  .Aaron 
!'..  Davis.  Joel  Pike.  R.  M.  Waller,  Julius  Trask. 


PAST  AXD  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


IS 


William  Carey,  Ephraim  W'vman,  P.  D.  Tavlor, 
William  Brayton.  Israel  Morrill,  Harlvn  Shat- 
tuck,  David  DeWitt,  James  B.  Young,  Abel 
Thurston,  John  Kaudler,  John  Adams,  Alilton 
Kilburn,  Richard  H.  Enoch,  Joseph  Chadwick, 
Daniel  Piper,  John  Hance,  Henry  Enoch,  Jr., 
Peter  Moore,  Sylvester  Sutton,  \'.  B,  Rexford, 
William  G.  Blair,  Daniel  H.  Whitney,  James  Jack- 
son, Isaac  Adams.  Isaac  Harrell,  E.  A.  Nixon, 
John  Wood.  William  Mead,  Joseph  Rogers,  A. 
C.  Gleason,  Henry  Hicks.  John  Brink,  E. 
Gregory,  L.  C.  Waller,  James  Thomas.  G.  Kent, 
Chauncey  Mead,  George  Randall,  W.  H.  Talcott. 
William  E.  Dunbar,  S.  A.  Lee.  Charles  Reed, 
Charles  Sayres,  Robert  J.  Cross.  D.  A.  Spaulding. 
Benjamin  White,  Jacob  Enoch.  The  votes  of  two 
men.  John  Langdon  and  Thomas  Williams,  were 
rejected.  Not  a  single  voter  of  this  list  is  now 
living.  The  last  survivor  was  Harlyn  .Shattuck. 
who  died  in  1899.  near  Belvidere. 

On  Wednesday.  August  3d.  the  county  com- 
missioners-elect met  in  special  session  at  the 
house  of  Daniel  S.  Haight.  for  the  transaction  of 
business  necessary  to  complete  the  local  govern- 
ment. D.  A.  Spaulding  was  elected  clerk  of  the 
county  commissioners"  court ;  and  Robert  J. 
Cross  was  chosen  trc^urer.  William  E.  Dun- 
bar was  sent  to  A'and-'.ia.  the  capital  of  the  state, 
with  the  election  '.turns.  The  term  "court" 
might  seem  to  imply  that  this  body  possessed  ju- 
dicial powers,  but  such  was  not  the  fact.  Under 
the  constitution  of  1818,  three  commissioners 
were  elected  in  each  county  for  the  transaction 
of  all  its  business.  This  court  performed  the  du- 
ties corresponding  in  a  general  way  to  those  en- 
trusted under  the  present  law  to  the  board  of 
supervisors. 

At  this  first  session  of  the  court  the  commis- 
sioners divided  the  county  into  seven  precincts. 
as  follows :  Yellow  River,  which  included  the 
towns  of  Silver  Creek,  Ridot.  Freeport,  Lancas- 
ter, and  the  south  half  of  Rock  River,  in  Stephen- 
son county :  Rock  Grove,  which  included  the 
north  half  of  Rock  River,  all  of  Buck  Eye.  Rock 
Grove,  and  the  east  half  of  Oneco,  in  Stephen- 
son county,  and  Laona  and  Howard  f^now  Dur- 
and)  in  Winnebago:  Peeketolika.  corresponding 
to  the  towns  of  Seward.  Lvsander  (now  Peca- 
tonica)  and  Burritt :  Kiskwaukee.  now  the  town- 
ships of  Cherry  Valley.  New  Milford,  and  part 
of  Rockford  township ;  Rockford,  which  in- 
cluded the  present  townships  of  Winnebago, 
Guilford,  the  larger  part  of  Rockford,  and  the 
south  half  of  Owen  and  Harlem  ;  Rock  River,  in- 
cluding the  townships  of  Shirland.  Harrison, 
Rockton,  Roscoe,  north  half  of  Owen  and  Har- 
lem, and  ^lanchester  in  Boone  county ;  Belvi- 
dere, which  included  all  of  Boone  county  except 
IManchester  township.  This  precinct  contained 
two  hundred  and  fifty-two  square  miles ;  yet  at 


the  first  presidential  election,  in  1836,  it  could  poll 
only  twenty-three  votes.  Rock  River  precinct 
was  twenty-four  miles  in  length,  and  from  six  to 
twelve  in  width,  and  included  six  townships.  At 
the  presidential  election  previously  mentioned  this 
immense  territory  could  poll  but  twenty  votes. 
The  number  of  precincts  was  subsequentlv  in- 
creased to  ten. 

At  this  session  of  the  court  an  order  was 
issued,  which  fixed  the  time  and  place  of  hold- 
ing an  election  in  each  precinct,  for  justices  of 
the  peace  and  constables.  Upon  the  election  of 
these  officers  the  county  organization  was  com- 
pleted. There  was  as  yet  no  countv  seat.  The  act 
to  establish  the  county,  however,  had  provided 
that  until  public  buildings  should  be  erected  for 
the  purpose,  the  courts  should  be  held,  as  the 
county  commissioners  should  direct. 

COUXTV    SE.\T    LOCATED    AT    WINNEB.XGO. 

The  law  establishing  \\'innebago  countv  desig- 
nated Robert  Stephens  and  Rezin  Zarley,  of  Cook 
county,  and  John  Phelps,  of  Jo  Daviess,  as  com- 
missioners, to  locate  the  permanent  seat  of  justice. 
These  commissioners  were  authorized  to  meet 
on  the  first  Monday  in  May.  1836.  or  as  soon 
thereafter  as  may  be,  at  the  house  of  Daniel  S. 
Haight.  for  the  discharge  of  their  duty.  John 
Phelps  never  made  his  appearance.  The  other 
two  commissioners  met  Juh'  14th,  at  the  place 
specified  by  law,  for  the  selection  of  a  site  for 
the  county  buildings. 

At  the  county  commissioners'  court  on  Thurs- 
day. .\ugust  4.  1836.  the  report  of  the  special 
commissioners  was  presented.  The  reader  will 
avoid  confusion  bv  noting  the  distinction  between 
the  three  county  commissioners  elected  bv  popu- 
lar vote,  and  the  special  commissioners  designated 
by  the  statute  to  locate  the  county  seat.  The  lat- 
ter reported  that  on  the  14th  day  of  July  they 
had  met  at  the  house  of  Daniel  S.  Haight,  and 
that  two  days  later  they  had  selected  a  site  on 
lands  owned  bv  Nicholas  Boilvin  &  Co..  on  con- 
dition that  the  proprietors  should  execute  a  war- 
ranty deed  to  the  county  of  thirty  acres  of  land, 
so  long  as  it  should  remain  the  seat  of  justice. 
On  the  same  day  Charles  Reed  presented  to  the 
countv  commissioners  a  aeed  of  twelve  blocks, 
containing  two  and  one-half  acres  each,  situated 
about  two  miles  up  the  river  trom  the  ferry  cross- 
ing. 

The  law  was  very  specific  concerning  the  lo- 
cation of  a  site.  It  provided  that  if  the  site 
chosen  should  be  the  property  of  individuals,  in- 
stead of  government  land,  the  owners  thereof 
should  make  a  deed  in  fee  simple  of  not  less  than 
twenty  acres  of  said  tract  to  the  county ;  or  in 
lieu  thereof  they  should  pay  the  county  three 
thousand  dollars,  to  be  used  in  the  erection  of 


i6 


PAST     AM)     I'RKSKXT     OF     WIXXEHACO     COrXTV 


county  buildings.  Mr.  Reed  may  have  presented 
his  deed  in  good  faith,  but  it  was  not  accepted 
because  it  contained  an  objectionable  clause  to 
the  effect  that  the  county  shoukl  hold  the  prop- 
erty "so  long  as  it  should  remain  the  seat  of 
justice."  This  reservation  defeated  his  scheme. 
This  tract  of  land  came  into  possession  of 
Nicholas  I'oilviii  about  one  year  ])revious.  Mr. 
r.oilvin  was  at  one  time  a  government  agent  for 
the  Winnebago  Indians.  It  lias  been  noted  that 
by  the  treaty  negotiated  at  Prairie  du  Chien, 
.\ugust  I.  i82(>.  iK'tween  the  United  States  and 
the  w'innebagoes.  grants  of  land  were  made  to 
certain  descendants  of  this  tribe.  Catherine 
Mvntt,  a  half-breed  Indian  woman,  was  one  of 
the  two  who  had  received  two  sections  each. 
I^revious  to  this  contest  over  the  county  seat,  one 
of  these  two  unlocated  sections  had  been  sold  to 
Henry  Gratiot.  15y  deed  executed  .\ugust  25, 
18^5.  Catherine  Mvott  conveyed  the  other  un- 
located section  to  Xidiolas  llnilvin  for  eight  hun- 
dred dollars.  This  was  the  first  individual  con- 
veyance of  land  in  Winnebago  county.  This  deed 
was  filed  for  record  in  Cook  county,  September 
3,  1835,  and  recorded  by  Daniel  H.  Whitney, 
recorder  of  Winnebago  county,  September  8, 
1836.  This  instrument  was  the  first  filed  for 
record  in  this  county.  The  tract  located  for  Mr. 
i'oilvin,  by  virtue  of  the  treaty  of  1829,  is  the 
east  half  of  section  fourteen  and  all  that  part 
of  section  thirteen  west  of  Rock  river,  in  Rock- 
ford  townshi]),  and  contains  six  hundred  and 
thirty-.scvcn  acres.  At  the  time  Mr.  Reed  made 
the  offer  of  his  deed  to  the  county  commission- 
ers, the  property  belonged  to  Nicholas  Boilvin, 
of  Cliicago.  Charles  Reed,  of  Joliet.  and  Major 
Campliell. 

.\s  soon  as  the  organization  of  the  county 
iK-gan  to  be  agitated.  Boilvin  and  his  associates 
determined  to  secure  the  location  of  the  county 
seat  on  their  site.  The  entire  tract  was  platted 
September  14,  1836.  It  was  known  as  Nicholas 
I'.nilvin's  plat  of  the  town  of  Winnebago,  and  the 
plat  was  filed  for  record  September  17,  1836. 
Reed  appeared  as  the  principal  manager.  There 
were  two  hundred  and  fifty-one  blocks,  and  these 
were  subdivided  into  two  thousand  four  hundred 
and  thirty-six  lots.  The  town  was  christened 
Winnebago.  Reed  built  a  two-story  house,  to 
be  used  as  a  hotel  and  store,  which  is  still  stand- 
ing a  few  rods  alx)ve  John  H.  Sherratt's  resi- 
rleiice.  .\  free  ferry  was  established :  a  lime- 
kiln and  a  blacksmith  shop  were  built :  and  a  road 
opeiu-il  through  the  timber  east  from  Winne- 
bago, to  meet  the  state  road  from  Chicago  to 
(ialena.  at  a  point  on  Beaver  creek.  Nothing  was 
left  undone  to  secure  the  countv  seat :  but  the 
decision  of  the  commissioners,  like  the  law  of 
the  Mcdes  and  Persians,  coulrl  not  be  changed. 

Notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  special  com- 
missioners were  given  full  jwwer  by  the  statute 


to  locate  the  county  seat,  their  selection  was 
arbitrarily  set  aside  by  the  commissioners'  court. 
This  rejection,  however,  was  based  upon  a  reason 
which  would  have  been  considered  valid  by  any 
court.  The  cpiestion  difl  not  again  come  before 
the  ])eople  until  1839.  Pending  the  location  of 
the  county  seat  the  commissioners  ordered  that 
the  circuit  and  county  commissioners'  courts 
should  be  held  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Haight. 

i:.\Rl,Y    FERRIKS   OX    ROCK   RIN'KR. 

The  ferry  was  the  first  mode  of  transit  across 
the  river.  Ferries  were  estalilished  by  special 
acts  of  the  legislature,  with  regular  charters,  in 
territory  not  under  county  organization.  The 
issue  of  licenses  for  conducting  ferries  came 
under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  commissioners' 
courts  in  organized  counties.  In  1836.  at  the 
.September  session  of  this  court  for  Winnebago 
county.  Cermanicus  Kent  was  authorized  to  es- 
tablish a  ferrv  at  Rockford,  at  what  is  now  State 
street.  He  was  required  to  pay  a  license  of  ten 
dollars  for  one  year,  and  rates  of  ferriage  were 
established. 

At  the  same  session  of  the  court  \'ance  & 
Andrews  were  authorized  to  establish  a  ferry  at 
^^'innebago,  on  the  same  terms  for  license  and 
ferriage  as  given  ?^lr.  Kent.  C.  Doolittlo.  by  his 
agent.  H.  M.  Wattles,  was  granted  the  j^rivilege 
of  establishing  a  ferry  where  the  line  between 
Rockford  and  C)wcn  townships  crosses  Rcick 
river,  on  the  same  terms.  In  the  spring  of  1836 
Harvey  Lowe  and  Nel.son  H.  Salisbury,  who  had 
made  claims  in  Howard  in  the  preceding  autumn, 
returned  with  their  families.  May  i8th  they 
crossed  the  river  at  the  point  now  spanned  by 
Trask's  bridge.  They  were  the  first  to  cross  in 
the  boat  which  had  been  launched  that  da  v.  They 
had  been  detained  there  about  a  week,  and  during 
tint  time  they  had  assisted  in  building  the  boat. 
This  ferrv,  which  was  established  through  the 
agency  of  Love  and  Salisbury,  to  enable  them 
to  cross  their  claims,  subsequently  became  the 
thoroughfare  in  the  direction  of  Mineral  Point 
and  formed  a  convenient  crossing  for  all  emi- 
grants to  the  country  north  of  the  Pecatonica. 

In  1837  the  ferry  licenses  of  Kent  and  ^^ance 
were  extended  another  year,  at  the  same  rates. 
Mr.  Kent  conducted  the  ferry  at  Rockford  from 
1836  to  1838.  In  the  latter  year  a  license  was 
issued  to  Kent  &  Brinckerhoff.  The  rates  of 
ferriage  were  changed  and  the  license  fee  raised 
to  twenty  dollars.  These  gentlemen  were  suc- 
ceeded by  .Selden  M.  Church,  who  continued  the 
business  until   the   first  bridge  was  built. 

SURVEY  OF  THE  ST.\TE  RO.\D. 

When  Germanicus  Kent  and  Thatcher  Blake 
made  their  settlements,  there  were  no  state  roads 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


17 


in  this  vicinity.  Indian  trails  wended  their  way 
through  prairie  and  forest,  but  these  did  not 
greatly  facihtate  the  trayel  of  the  white  man. 
At  that  time  Chicago  and  Galena  were  the  only 
well  known  points  in  northern  Illinois.  The  first 
settlements  in  the  state  were  made  in  the  south- 
ern portion  ;  and  as  the  tide  of  emigration  poured 
from  the  east  into  the  Rock  riyer  valley,  after 
the  Black  Hawk  war,  each  session  of  the  legis- 
lature laid  out  a  number  of  state  roads. 

By  an  act  approved  January  15,  1836,  James 
Gifford,  Daniel  S.  Haight  and  Josiah  C.  Good- 
hue were  appointed  special  commissioners  to  view, 
survey  and  locate  a  road  from  Meacham"s  Grove, 
in  Cook  county,  to  Galena,  in  Jo  Daviess  county. 
The  bill  directed  that  the  commissioners  should 
make  "Elgin  on  Fox  river,  in  Cook  county,  Bel- 
videre  on  Squaw  Prairie,  in  the  county  of  La 
Salle,  and  Midway  at  the  ford  on  Rock  river,  in 
the  county  of  Jo  Daviess,  points  on  the  said  road, 
and  shall  fix  the  said  road  on  the  most  advantage- 
ous ground,  for  a  permanent  road,  having  refer- 
ence to  said  points."  This  road  was  opened  with- 
out delay,  and  State  street  in  Belvidere  and  in 
Rockford  is  a  portion  of  this  highway,  which 
extends  nearly  across  the  state  in  a  general  north- 
westerly direction  from  Chicago. 

THE    \-ILL.\GE    CHRISTENED. 

Mr.  Kent  was  in  a  sense  the  first  proprietor  of 
the  colony.  He  gave  it  the  name  of  Midway. 
This  name  was  suggested  by  the  fact  that  the 
settlement  was  about  half  way  from  Giicago  to 
Galena.  "Midway,  Rock  River,  Jo  Daviess 
county,  Illinois,  June  17,  183s."  is  the  name  and 
date  Mr.  Kent  gives  in  a  letter  to  a  friend.  The 
law  of  1836  which  established  the  State  road, 
noted  in  the  last  paragraph,  referred  to  "Mid- 
way at  the  ford  on  Rock  river." 

Under  date  of  October  17,  1837,  ^Ir.  Kent 
writes  a  letter  from  Rockford.  The  settlement 
was  therefore  known  as  ]Midway  from  one  to 
three  years. 

Authorities  differ  as  to  the  origin  of  the  name 
Rockford.  One  writer  says  the  place  was  known 
as  Rockford  by  the  Indians ;  and  that  this  name 
was  suggested  to  them  by  nature.  Upon  the  site 
of  the  present  dam  was  a  solid  rock  bottom, 
where  the  water  was  usually  so  shallow  as  to 
afford  easy  crossing  with  their  ponies.  Hence 
it  was  called  b^'  them  the  rock-ford. 

John  H.  Thurston  gives  a  somewhat  different, 
though  not  necessarily  a  conflicting,  version.  He 
says  Daniel  S.  Haight.  Germanicus  Kent,  Wil- 
liam H.  Gilman,  of  Belvidere,  John  P.  Chapin  and 
Ebenezer  Peck,  of  Chicago,  and  Stephen  Edgel, 
later  of  St.  Louis,  met  at  Dr.  Goodhue's  office,  on 
Lake  street,  in  Chicago,  to  name  the  claim,  or 
mill  privilege,  which  they  hoped  at  some  time 
2 


would  become  a  town.  "Midway,"  though  an 
appropriate  name,  was  not  in  favor.  Various 
names  were  suggested  and  rejected,  until  Dr. 
Goodhue  said :  "Why  not  call  it  Rockford,  from 
the  splendid  rock-bottom  ford  on  the  river  there  ?" 
The  suggestion  seemed  an  inspiration,  and  was 
at  once  unanimously  adopted ;  and  from  that  day 
to  this.  Dr.  Goodhue  has  been  given  the  credit 
of  the  present  name.  The  date  of  this  christen- 
ing is  uncertain.  Mr.  Thurston  says  it  occurred 
in  the  summer  of  1835; -but  the  statute  of  Janu- 
ary, 1836.  still  designated  it  Midway.  News 
traveled  slowh',  however,  in  those  days ;  and  pos- 
sibly the  solons  at  Vandalia  had  not  learned  of 
the  change. 

THE  FIR.ST  SURVEYS. 

The  first  surveys  in  Winnebago  county  were 
made  early  in  1836.  Don  Alonzo  Spaulding,  a 
pioneer  of  1835,  was  the  government  surveyor. 
One  of  his  associates  was  Hon.  Charles  B.  Far- 
well,  of  Chicago,  who  in  1887  succeeded  the  late 
General  John  A.  Logan  as  a  United  States  sen- 
ator from  Illinois.  In  October,  1835,  Mr. 
Spaulding  began  the  extension  of  the  third  prin- 
cipal meridian,  at  a  timber  corner  about  two  miles 
north  of  the  point  where  this  meridian  crosses 
the  Illinois  riyer,  on  the  western  boundary  line 
of  La  Salle  county.  Mr.  Spaulding  extended  the 
third  principal  meridian  north  to  its  intersection 
with  the  Wisconsin  boundary  line.  Mr.  Spauld- 
ing surveyed  the  range  and  township  lines  in  all 
of  Winnebago  county,  and  the  western  range  of 
Boone :  and  subdivided  all  of  Winnebago  except 
New  Milford  and  Cherry  \'alley  townships. 

THE  BEGIXXIXG  OF  METPIODISM. 

jNIethodism  was  established  in  Winnebago 
county  in  1836.  It  was  therefore  the  vanguard  of 
the  church  militant  to  enter  and  possess  the  land. 
The  official  record  of  the  first  society  has  not 
been  preserved. 

Galena  was  the  first  appointment  within  the 
bounds  of  the  present  Rock  River  conference. 
It  was  at  that  time,  in  1829,  in  the  Illinois  con- 
ference, which  comprised  the  states  of  Indiana 
and  Illinois.  The  Indiana  conference  was  formed 
in  1834.  After  this  separation  of  Indiana  from 
the  Illinois  conference,  the  latter  still  covered  a 
vast  region.  In  the  autumn  of  1835  Rev.  Wil- 
liam Royal  was  appointed  to  the  Fox  River  mis- 
sion. Rev.  Samuel  Pillsbury  was  associated  with 
him.  This  mission  circuit  extended  northward 
from  Ottawa.  In  June,  1836,  Rev.  Pillsbury 
preached  a  sermon  at  the  home  of  Henry  Enoch, 
in  Guilford  township,  seven  and  one-half  miles 
east  of  Rockford.  This  was  the  first  service  in 
the  county  conducted  by  a  Methodist  clergyman. 


i8 


PAST     AND     l'RESi:.\T     (U      W  l.\.\lil!AGU     CUL'XTY. 


On  that  occasion  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Daniel  Beers  and 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Samuel  Gre<;ory  traveled  six  miles 
in  a  heavy  lumber  wagon  drawn  hy  a  yoke  of 
oxen. 

This  service  was  followed  during:  tlie  sum- 
mer by  occasional  sermons  by  Rev.  Royal  at  Mr. 
Enoch's  house :  and  Mrs.  Enoch  often  prepared 
Sunday  dinners  for  the  cont^recfation.  On  his 
wav  to  conference  at  S])rin};field.  in  the  autumn 
of  iS,^^>,  Rev.  Royal  passed  tlirouijh  Rockford. 
Monday  afternoon,  September  2d,  he  jireached 
in  .sanniel  Ure^'ory's  lofj  liousc,  which  stood  on 
what  is  now  block  fourteen  in  Gilbert  Woodruff's 
second  addition  to  Rockford.  At  the  close  of  the 
sermon  Rev.  Royal  orjjanized  the  first  Methodist 
class,  which  consisted  of  five  persons :  Samuel 
Greg'ory,  Joanna  (irejjory,  ^fary  Enoch.  Daniel 
I'.eers  and  Mary  Ileers.  These  pioneer  Metho- 
<lists  have  been  honored  by  five  memorial  front 
windows  in  Centennial  church. 

At  the  conference  of  1836  Bishop  Roberts  ap- 
pointed Dr.  Arnold  to  the  Sycamore  circuit,  of 
which  Rockford  was  a  part.  The  few  Methodists 
gathered  for  worship  as  often  as  possible  at  Mr. 
Gregory's  house.  In  1837  the  conference  met 
at  Rushvillc,  when  llisho])  Roberts  sent  William 
( laddis,  with  Robert  Lane,  as  assistant,  to  the 
Rockford  circuit.  Tiiis  circuit  belonged  to  the 
Chicago  di.strict.  over  which  John  Clark  was  pre- 
siding elder.  Mr.  Lane  soon  retired  from  the 
field,  and  he  was  succeeded  by  Leander  S. 
Walker.  At  the  conference  of  1838,  at  Alton, 
Bishop  Soule  returned  Mr.  Walker  to  Rockford 
as  ])reacher  in  charge,  with  Nathan  Jewett  as 
assistant.  During  the  earlv  i)art  of  Mr.  Walker's 
pastorate  he  ])reached  in  the  house  of  James  Bos- 
well,  north  of  the  brewery.  The  Methodists  sub- 
scf|uently  worshi]>ed  in  a  building  erected  by  Mr. 
Ilaight  on  the  site  of  the  .American  House.  This 
building  was  used  for  various  i>uri)oses.  In  the 
summer  of  1838  the  Methodists  built  a  parson- 
age on  First  .street,  between  Prairie  street  and 
Lafayette  avenue,  facing  west.  This  was  the 
first  Methodist  parsonage  built  within  what  is 
now  the  Rock  River  conference. 

Tlie  Rock  River  conference  was  organized 
.'Vngust  26,  1840,  at  Mt.  Morris.  Bishop  Waugh 
]>rcsiiled  over  this  conference,  which  was  held  in 
a  grove.  Rockford  was  retained  in  the  Chicago 
district,  with  John  T.  Mitchell  as  presiding  elder, 
and  Semphronious  H.  Stocking  as  circuit 
preacher.  .August  25.  1841.  the  conference  was 
held  at  Platteville,  W'isconsin,  when  Bishop  Mor- 
ris sent  John  Crummer  to  Rockford. 

.August  3.  1842.  the  conference  met  in  Chi- 
cago, and  Bishop  Roberts  assigned  Rockford  to 
the  care  of  Silas  BoUes.  .At  this  time  the  Metho- 
dist church  was  worshiping  in  what  was  after- 
ward knf)wn  as  the  "old  seminary  l)uilding."  This 
structure  had  been  begun  as  a  Congregational 


church,  but  was  abandoned  for  the  church  built 
on  the  West  side  1)\-  Kent  and  Brinckcrhoff.  In 
1842  the  Methodists  bought  this  "seminary" 
property  of  the  county  commissioners,  and  held 
it  for  .some  years.  September  20,  1842,  the  First 
Methodist  church  became  an  incorporate  body, 
with  five  trustees,  as  follows:  Horace  Miller, 
James  B.  .Martyn,  Samuel  Gregory,  Daniel  Beers 
and  Willard  Wheeler.  At  the  conference  in  Du- 
bufjue,  Iowa,  .August  30,  1843,  Rockford  was 
made  a  "station,"  and  Bishop  Andrews  sent  Rich- 
ard Blanchard.  November  10th  of  that  year  the 
trustees  of  the  society  purchased  of  Daniel  S. 
Haiglit  the  lot  on  which  the  parsonage  had  been 
built  five  years  previous.  The  consideration  was 
two  hundred  dollars. 

I'"e1)ruary  25,  1846.  the  trustees  purchased  of 
William  II.  (iilman,  lots  one,  two,  three,  four  and 
five,  in  the  east  half  of  block  thirty-one,  front- 
iTig  on  South  Second  street,  between  Oak  and 
Walnut.  The  consideration  was  tliree  hundred 
and  twenty-five  dollars.  These  lots,  except  lot 
one.  are  the  same  upon  which  the  Centennial 
church  and  parsonage  now  stand,  and  which  were 
occupied  by  the  I'irst  church  and  parsonage.  The 
contract  for  building  the  l-'irst  church  was  made 
with  M.  II.  Regan,  in  1846,  but  it  was  not  com- 
pleted until  1848. 

l-'rom  1 84 1  to  1853  Rockford  had  been  a  part 
of  the  Mt.  Morris  <listrict.  In  the  latter  year, 
the  conference,  which  met  at  Chicago.  September 
14th,  redistricted  the  work,  and  the  Rockford 
district  was  formetl.  ISi.shon  Scott  sent  Luke 
I  litchcock  to  the  district  as  presiding  elder.  Wil- 
liam Taskcr  was  assigned  to  the  First  church, 
and  "West  Rockford"  was  left  to  be  supplied  bv 
Mr.  Chatfield. 

Of  the  sixty  sessions  of  the  Rock  River  con- 
ference eight  have  been  held  in  Rockford.  The 
first  convened  with  the  First  church.  July  18, 
1849.  Edmund  S.  James  was  presiding  bishop. 
.August  26.  1857.  tlie  conference  convened  in 
Court  Street  church,  with  Lewis  Scott  as  presid- 
ing bishop.  .At  the  conference  held  with  the  First 
church,  September  23.  1863.  Bishop  Scott  again 
jiresided.  October  0,  1S72,  the  conference  met 
in  the  Third  Street  church,  with  I'ishop  Isaac  W, 
Wiley  iiresiding.  The  next  conference  in  Rock- 
ford met  (\-tober  13.  1880.  in  Court  Street 
church.  Bishop  Hurst  presided.  The  charge 
of  heresy  preferred  against  Dr.  H.  W.  Thomas 
was  considered  and  referred  to  the  presiding 
elder  of  his  district.  September  21.  1884,  the 
conference  convened  with  Centennial  church. 
Bishop  Henry  W.  Warren  presided.  Bishop 
Mallalieu  presided  at  the  conference  held  with 
Court  Street  church,  September  27,  1887.  The 
eighth  conference  convened  with  Centennial 
church,  October  3,  1800,  with  Bishop  Hurst  in 
the  chair. 


PAST     AND    PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


19 


FIRST    MARRIAGES    AXD    BIRTHS. 

The  first  marriage  was  that  of  Dr.  Daniel  H. 
Whitney  and  Sarah  Caswell,  and  was  solemnized 
bv  Rev.  Seth  S.  Whitman,  of  Belvidere,  Decem- 
ber ID,  1836.  The  first  marriage  ceremony 
within  the  present  limits  of  the  coimty  was  that 
of  Jeremiah  Roberts  and  Harriet  Clausen,  and 
was  performed  December  11,  1836,  by  Sylvester 
Talcott,  a  justice  of  the  peace.  The  first  mar- 
riage, however,  reported  in  the  registery  in  the 
county  clerk's  office  is  that  of  William  P.  Randall 
and  I\Iiss  Delia  Driscoll,  solemnized  February  13. 
1837,  by  William  R.  Wheeler,  a  justice  of  the 
peace. 

Melissa  J.  Long,  daughter  of  John  B.  Long, 
born  in  February,  1836,  is  entitled  to  the  distinc- 
tion of  being  the  first  white  child  born  in  the 
county.  The  first  male  child,  Ogden  Hance,  was 
born  in  what  is  now  Pecatonica  township. 
George  E.  Dunbar,  son  of  William  E.  Dunbar, 
was  born  in  1836,  in  a  little  log  house  situated 
about  one  block  south  of  Kent  street,  on  ?ilain. 
Mrs.  T.  W.  Carrico.  a  daughter  of  Benjamin  Kil- 
burn.  was  also  among  the  earliest  accessions  by 
birth  to  the  population  of  the  village. 

COUNTY     DIVIDED. "mILE-STRIP     CONTEST." 

An  act  of  the  legislature,  approved  March  4, 
1837,  provided  for  the  reorganization  of  Winne- 
bago countv,  and  the  creation  of  Stephenson  and 
Boone.  The  latter  was  named  in  honor  of  Col- 
onel Daniel  Boone,  the  first  white  settler  of  Ken- 
tuck}-.  By  this  act  Winnebago  county  was  re- 
duced to  one-iialf  its  original  size.  The  reader 
will  find  it  necessary,  in  tracing  the  boundary 
lines,  to  have  before  him  maps  of  Winnebago 
and  Boone  counties ;  also  some  acquaintance  with 
the  township  survey  system.  Confusion  will 
arise  if  it  is  not  remembered  that  the  townships 
in  ^^'innebago  county,  west  of  the  third  prin- 
cipal meridian,  are  numbered  from  a  different 
base-line  from  those  east  of  this  meridian.  It 
must  also  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  ranges  west 
of  the  third  principal  meridian  are  numbered,  not 
as  ranges  west  of  the  third  principal  meridian, 
but  as  east  of  the  fourth  principal  meridian. 

The  first  section  of  this  law  creates  Stephen- 
son county  from  the  eastern  portion  of  Jo  Daviess 
and  the  western  two  ranges  of  Winnebago,  as  the 
latter  had  been  organized  the  preceding  year. 
The  next  section  defines  the  new  boundary  of 
Winnebago.  The  line  begins  at  the  northeast 
corner  of  Stephenson,  as  formed  by  the  preced- 
ing section ;  thence  running  east  on  the  state  line 
to  the  section  line  between  sections  five  and  six, 
in  township  forty-six  north,  range  three  east  of 
the  third  principal  meridian :  thence  south  on 
said  section  line  to  the  south  boundary  of  town- 


ship forty-three  north,  range  three  east ;  thence 
west  on  said  township  line  to  the  third  principal 
meridian ;  thence  north  on  said  meridian  to  the 
southeast  corner  of  township  twenty-six  north, 
range  eleven  east  of  the  fourth  principal 
meridian  ;  thence  west  on  said  line  to  the  range 
line  between  ranges  nine  and  ten  east  of  the 
fourth  principal  meridian ;  thence  north  to  the 
place  of  beginning. 

The  third  section  of  this  law  contemplated  the 
boundaries  of  Boone  as  they  now  exist,  except 
the  mile-strip  on  the  west.  This  law  was 
seriously  defective  in  defining  the  boundary  lines. 
The  intention  of  the  legislature,  however,  was 
obvious  and  was  accepted  until  two  years  later, 
when  the  act  of  March  2,  1839,  corrected  the 
errors,  which  may  have  been  either  verbal  or 
typographical. 

Bv  comparing  the  boundary  lines  of  Winne- 
bago and  Boone,  as  defined  by  the  act  of  1837, 
with  an  atlas  of  the  counties,  it  will  be  observed 
tnat  the  eastern  boundary  of  Winnebago  was 
exactly  one  mile  east  of  the  present  line.  Thus 
established,  Boone  was  only  eleven  miles  wide. 
The  western  tier  of  sections,  which  clearly  be- 
long to  Boone  under  the  p-overnment  survey,  was 
denied  her  and  given  to  \A'innebago. 

This  manifest  injustice  to  Boone  county  was 
a  thorn  in  the  flesh  of  her  citizens  and  finally  pre- 
cipitated what  is  known  as  the  "mile-strip  con- 
test," the  most  bitter  controversy  of  those  early 
days.  The  statement  is  twice  made  in  Kett's 
History  of  Boone  county  that  the  assignment  of 
this  mile-strip  to  Winnebago  in  1837  was  a  com- 
promise to  conciliate  conflicting  interests  in  this 
county.  These  "conflicting  interests"  were  prob- 
ably the  ambitions  of  East  and  West  Rockford 
for  the  county  buildings.  The  extra  mile-strip 
may  have  been  given  to  Winnebago,  at  the  in- 
stance of  clever  manipulators,  to  increase  the  vot- 
ing strength  of  that  part  of  the  county  east  of 
Rock  river. 

In  1843  the  question  of  annexing  this  mile- 
strip  to  Boone  county  came  before  the  legislature. 
An  enabling  act,  approved  February  28th,  pro- 
vided that  sections  six,  seven,  eighteen,  nineteen, 
thirty  and  thirty-one,  in  townships  forty-three, 
fortv-four,  forty-five  and  forty-six,  range  three 
east,  should  be  annexed  to  Boone,  if  the  voters  on 
the  mile-strip  should  so  elect.  The  strip  com- 
prised what  is  now  the  western  tier  of  sections 
in  the  townships  of  Manchester,  Caledonia,  Belvi- 
dere and  Flora,  in  Boone  county.  An  election 
was  ordered  to  be  held  at  the  house  of  Samuel 
Keith,  in  the  village  of  Newburg.  W'innebago 
countv.  May  4,  1843.  The  citizens  of  Rockford 
were  deeply  interested  in  the  result,  although  the 
county  seat  had  recently  been  relocated  on  the 
West'side,  and  the  voters  the  preceding  year  had 
expressed  a  preference  for  that  side.    They  were 


20 


I'Asr    AND    i'Ri:si-.\  r   oi-    w  ixxi-.i'.aco   torxiv. 


not  III  cuursc.  allowi-il  to  vole.  Only  those  on 
the  mile-strip  liad  a  voice  in  the  matter.  The  elec- 
tion called  ont  ninety-five  votes.  Fifty-one  were 
lor  annexation  to  l!o<ine,  and  forty-four  against 
it ;  a  majority  of  seven  in  favor  of  lioonc.  This 
election  added  twenty-fonr  sections  of  valuable 
land  to  our  eastern  neighbor,  and  thus  greatly 
increased  luT  taxable  property. 

I  111-:    FIRST    TW     I.KVY. 

I  he  first  tax  levy  was  oruercd  1)\  the  county 
commissioners'  court,  at  its  .March  term,  1837. 
One-half  per  cent,  tax  was  levied  on  town  lots, 
horses  and  mares,  meat  cattle  above  three  years 
old,  watches,  carriages,  and  wagons,  and  a  tax 
of  one- fourth  ])er  cent,  on  stock  in  trade. 
Through  some  technicality,  this  levy  was  de- 
clared illegal,  and  a  second  levy  was  made.  At 
that  time  farm  lands  were  not  taxable.  They 
were  not  |)laced  u])nii  the  market  at  the  land  of- 
fices until  two  years  later,  and  for  three  years 
thereafter  they  were  exem])t  from  taxation.  It 
was  not  until  1842-43  that  any  county  revenue 
was  obtained  from  this  source.  The  revenue  re- 
quired to  meet  the  expenses  of  the  county  until 
the  lands  became  taxable  was  derived  from  as- 
sessments against  ])ersonal  property.  Under  this 
order  the  total  amount  levied  was  five  hundred 
and  sixty-two  dollars  and  fifty-nine  and  one-half 
cents. 

THE    n.W    OF    SMALL    THINGS. 

The  first  frame  building  in  Rockford  was 
erected  in  1836.  by  Sidney  Twogood  and  Thomas 
Lake.  It  was  a  story-and-a-half  structure,  and 
stood  on  the  southwest  corner  of  State  and  Madi- 
son streets,  and  faced  east.  It  was  first  occupied 
as  a  general  store  by  Harry  W.  Bund}-  and 
George  Goodhue.  The  latter  was  a  nephew  of  Dr. 
Goodhue.  This  firm  continued  in  business  there 
only  about  two  years,  and  then  removed  to  Beloit 
in  the  spring  of  1838. 

The  second  frame  structure  was  built  for 
naniel  .S.  Ilaight.  on  the  northeast  corner  of 
State  and  Madison  streets,  and  to  which  reference 
has  already  been  made. 

James  B.  Martyii,  who  came  from  Alabama 
upon  Mr.  Kent's  .solicitation,  claimed  to  have 
built  the  first  frame  house  in  the  county,  outside 
of  Rockford.  in  1836.  on  his  claim  on  the  State 
road,  one  mile  east  of  the  intersection  of  State  and 
Third  streets.  Mr.  Martvn  died  at  Belvidere  in 
i88t. 

The  first  theatrical  performance  was  given  Oc- 
tober j«).  1838,  in  the  old  Rockford  House.  The 
manager  of  the  company  was  the  elder  Jefferson, 
father  of  the  world-renowned  Joseph  Jcflferson. 
"Joe"  was  but  a  youth,  and  acted  in  "Lord 
I»vell."   then   a   new  play.     The   company   was 


weather-bound  in  Rockford  while  en  route  from 
Chicago  to  (ialena.  The  river  was  not  passable 
by  reason  of  heavy  moving  ice. 

The  first  tailor  in  Rockford  was  William  11. 
Tinker,  who  came  from  Massachusetts.  He  was 
in  the  village  in  1836,  but  he  did  not  consider  the 
outlook  very  ])romising,  and  he  left  the  field.  In 
June,  1837,  Parson  King  Johnson,  from  I'.ran- 
don,  Vermont,  came  to  Rockford,  and  found  Mr. 
Tinker's  cutting  board  in  the  rear  room  of  Bundy 
iS:  ("roodhue's  store.  Mr.  Tinker  returned  to 
Rockford.  and  the  firm  of  Tinker  &  Johnson  be- 
came the  first  ill  that  line  in  the  village.  The  firm 
occupied  the  u|)per  room  in  a  building  on  the  site 
of  Ti  I  South  .\Iadison  street. 

The  first  shoemaker  was  ICzra  r>arinim.  He 
was  father  of  .\nson  Barinim  and  Mrs.  James 
M.  \\'ight.  and  grandfather  of  Mrs.  Sherratt. 
Mr.  r>arnum  came  from  Danbury,  Connecticut, 
in  the  summer  of  1837.  .\  history  of  Danbury 
shows  the  Barnums  to  have  been  an  old  family 
of  that  city. 

The  first  brick  was  made  in  the  autumn  of 
1837  by  Cyrus  C.  Jenks,  in  Guilford,  about  three 
and  a  half  miles  northeast  of  the  town. 

The  first  carpenter  cannot  be  determined  with 
accurac\' :  but  it  is  probable  that  Thomas  Lake 
and  .Sidney  Twogood  were  the  first  skilled  work- 
men. The  first  saloon  was  o])ened  in  1837.  by 
Samuel  Little,  an  luiglishman.  He  ])ut  up  a 
small  one-story  building  near  316  Last  State 
street.  The  first  blacksniilh  was  probably  one  of 
the  men  em])loyed  by  Mr.  Kent.  The  second  was 
William  Penfield.  His  frame  building  was  on 
the  northeast  corner  of  Madison  and  Market 
streets.  William  V.  Dennis  was  the  first  house- 
painter,  and  in  1837  he  disi)layed  his  skill  on  Mr. 
Haight's  first  frame  house.  The  first  drug  store 
was  opened  early  in  the  summer  of  1838  by  "Dr." 
Marshal,  a  Scotchman.  It  was  on  the  north  side 
of  State  street,  about  eighty  feet  from  the  river. 
The  first  bakers  were  Ephraim  Wyman  and 
Bethuel  Houghton,  who  did  business  in  1838  as 
I)artiiers  on  South  Main  street.  The  first  store 
was  kept  by  John  \'ance,  in  a  log  cabin  on  South 
First  street,  opposite  the  city  hall  now  in  process 
of  construction. 

CO.NGRIiG.XTIO.N.M.ISM — THK    FIRST  CHURCH. 

Xew  England  Congregationalism  came  with 
the  early  settlers.  This  institution  was  firmly  es- 
tablished within  three  years  after  the  arrival  of 
Mr.  Kent  and  .Mr.  I'.lakc,  and  it  has  maintained 
a  strong  and  intluential  position  in  Rockford  until 
the  present  time.  The  First  Congregational 
church  was  organized  May  5,  1837,  with  nine 
members:  Rev.  [ohn  Morrill,  Herman  B.  Potter, 
Israel    Morrill.  "  Richard    .Morrill.    Elizabeth    P. 


PAST     AXD    TRESEXT     OF     WIXXEBAGO     COUXTY. 


21 


]\[on-ill,  AFarv  J.  Morrill,  Sophia  X.  IMorrill, 
Minerva  Potter,  and  Eunice  Brown. 

The  church  was  founded  by  Rev.  John  Mor- 
rill, at  the  home  of  his  brother.  Israel  Morrill,  on 
the  west  side  of  the  river.  It  is  therefore  the 
oldest  church  in  Rockford,  inasmuch  as  the  First 
Methodist  church,  formed  the  previous  year, 
ceased  to  exist.  The  three  ^lorrill  brothers  and 
their  wives  constituted  just  two-thirds  of  the 
original  membership.  During  its  first  year  the 
church  had  attained  a  membership  of  twenty 
souls.  Israel  Morrill  and  H.  B.  Potter  were  the 
first  deacons. 

The  first  confession  of  faith  and  form  of  cove- 
nant, adopted  temporarily  at  its  organization, 
was  that  recommended  by  the  Watertown  pres- 
bytery. One  year  later.  May  4,  1838,  this  was 
displaced  by  the  articles  of  faith  and  covenant  of 
the  Rock  River  Congregational  Association. 

Rev.  John  Morrill  was  the  first  pastor.  Very 
little  is  known  of  him  previous  to  his  removal  to 
the  west.  He  had  come  in  a  farm  wagon  from 
Xew  York  as  a  home  missionary  to  this  cotmty, 
where  his  brother  had  previously  settled.  Mr. 
Morrill  served  as  pastor  one  year  from  May, 
1837.  The  late  Mrs.  Eunice  Brown  Lyon  is  au- 
thority for  the  statement  that  Mr.  Morrill  received 
no  formal  call  to  the  pastorate  of  the  Congrega- 
tional church.  He  was  the  leading  spirit  in  its 
organization,  and  he  may  have  assumed  the  work 
with  the  understanding,  explicit  or  implied,  that 
he  should  serve  as  its  pastor  for  a  time.  This 
pioneer  minister  died  at  Pecatonica  February  16, 

1874- 

Soon   after    its    organization    the    church    held 

services  in  the  "stage  barn,"'  built  by  Daniel  S. 
Haight,  near  the  intersection  of  State  and  Third 
streets.  Only  a  few  years  ago  this  structure  was 
standing  on  the  farm  of  Isaac  Rowley,  near  the 
city.  In  the  summer  of  1838  the  trustees  began 
the  erection  of  a  frame  structure  on  the  west  side 
of  X'^orth  First  street,  on  a  site  near  the  residence 
of  Irvin  French.  When  the  building  had  been 
enclosed  and  shingled  it  was  learned  that  !\Iessrs. 
Kent  and  Brinckerhoff  had  obtained  about  eight 
hundred  dollars  from  friends  in  New  York  for 
a  church.  Instead  of  turning  over  this  money  to 
the  society  to  complete  the  church,  these  gentle- 
men built  an  edifice  on  their  own  side  of  the 
river.  This  building  was  raised  in  the  summer 
of  1838,  and  enclosed  the  same  season.  \\'hen  it 
was  completed  they  turned  it  over  to  the  society 
for  worship,  but  retained  their  nominal  title.  .\t 
that  time  they  possessed  no  legal  title  to  the  land 
from  the  government.  The  unfinished  building 
on  North  First  street  was  abandoned,  and  was 
never  afterwards  used  bv  this  church  as  a  house 
of  worship.  It  was.  however,  devoted  to  other 
purposes,  which  will  be  noted  in  subsequent 
pages. 


The  building  erected  by  Kent  and  Brinckerhofif 
was  the  first  church  edifice  in  Rockford,  and  stood 
on  the  southwest  corner  of  Qiurch  and  Green 
streets.  It  was  a  frame  structure,  clap-boarded, 
in  Doric  style,  forty-five  feet  square  inside,  and 
stood  on  a  foundation  of  blocks  of  trees,  cut  in 
the  adjoining  grove,  with  sills  resting  upon  them 
about  three  feet  above  the  ground.  In  fact,  the 
greater  portion  of  the  buikling  material  was  ob- 
tained from  adjacent  lots.  The  building  fronted 
to  the  east,  and  had  three  windows  on  each  side. 
A  porch  about  ten  feet  wide  extended  across  the 
front,  covered  by  an  extension  of  the  roof,  which 
was  supported  b>'  four  fluted  wooden  columns. 
This  sylvan  sanctuary  was  occupied  by  the  First 
church  about  six  years. 

The  Ladies"  Foreign  iMissionary  Societv  was 
organized  in  18^8,  just  one  year  after  the  found- 
ing of  the  church.  The  originators  of  this  move- 
ment, like  the  founders  of  the  church,  were 
largely  from  New  England,  who  had  been  in- 
terested in  foreign  missions  and  education  in  their 
eastern  homes,  and  who  had  not  left  their  zeal 
behind  them,  although  they  might  properly  have 
considered  themselves  on  home  missionary 
ground. 

The  second  pastor  was  Rev.  Cyrus  L.  Watson. 
who  served  the  church  from  Xovember.  1838,  to 
May,  1841.  He  was  a  genial,  social  elderly  gen- 
tleman, a  good  pastor,  and  he  was  highly  es- 
teemed. His  death  occurred  at  Battle  Creek, 
Michigan.  Rev.  William  S.  Curtis,  D.  D.,  sup- 
plied the  pulpit  from  X'ovember.  1841.  to  August, 
1842.  Dr.  Curtis  subsequently  became  pastor  of 
the  Westminister  Presbyterian  church.  His  death 
occurred  in  1885,  and  his  funeral  was  held  June 
1st,  from  the  Westminister  church.  Dr.  Curtis 
was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Oliver  W.  Norton,  who 
was  the  pastor  from  September.  1842.  until  some 
time  in  the  following  year.  Rev.  Lansing  Porter 
served  a  brief  pastorate  from  February,  1844,  to 
April,   1846. 

In  the  spring  of  1846  the  churcli  dedicated  a 
new  house  of  worship  on  tne  East  side.  It  was  a 
brick  structure,  and  stood  on  the  northeast  corner 
of  South  First  and  Walnut  streets,  on  the  site  of 
the  new  citv  hall.  Its  dimensions  were  forty  by 
sixty  feet :  the  walls  were  twenty  feet  high.  A 
])rojection  at  the  rear  lormed  a  recess  for  the 
pulpit.  The  roof  was  one-quarter  pitch,  with  a 
square  tower  on  the  center  of  the  front,  rising 
about  twentv  feet.  From  this  tower  a  bell  called 
the  people  to  their  public  devotions.  The  bell 
belonged  to  Rev.  Norton,  and  he  took  it  with  him 
when  he  went  away.  W.  A.  Dickerman,  as  agent 
for  the  church,  subsequently  purchased  a  Aleneely 
bell,  in  Xew  York,  weighing  six  hundred  and 
forty  pounds.  This  church  continued  to  be  the 
house  of  worship  for  this  congregation  until 
1870. 


22 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUXTY. 


The  construction  of  a  new  house  of  worship 
is  frequently,  and  perhaps  generally,  followed  by 
a  change  in  the  pastorate.  Such  was  the  ex- 
perience of  this  society  soon  after  the  dedication 
of  its  new  church.  The  resignation  of  Rev.  Lan- 
sing I'orter  was  followed  by  a  call  to  the  Rev. 
Lewis  H.  Loss,  whose  pastorate  began  in  August, 
1846. 

The  pipe  organ  used  in  this  church  was  built 
by  PL  IL  Silsby  and  his  brother.  The  organist 
at  one  time  was  Rufus  ILttch,  who  subsequently 
removed  to  Xew  York,  and  became  one  of  the 
most  famous  operators  on  Wall  street.  During 
his  residence  in  Rockforil  he  was  engaged  in  the 
dry  goods  business  on  East  State  street,  near  the 
site  of  the  Coyncr  urug  store.  His  home  was  on 
South  Madison  street,  where  Miss  Kate  O'Con- 
nor's residence  now  stands.  Mr.  Hatch  removed 
from  Roc'Kt'ord  alxiut  1856.  When  .Mr.  Hatch 
becaiue  wealthy,  he  presented  the  pipe  organ 
which  is  in  use  in  the  ])resent  house  of  worship, 
to  Dr.  and  .Mrs.  (kiodwin.  The  doctor  was  pastor 
when  this  church  was  dedicated.  This  splendid 
gift,  whicii  cost  four  thousand  dollars,  was  Mr. 
Platch's  personal  token  of  esteem  for  Dr.  Good- 
win. Some  time  later  Dr.  (ioodwin  ])reached  a 
sermon  on  music,  in  which  he  referred  to  its 
high  place  in  Christian  worshi]).  .\t  the  close  of 
this  discourse  Dr.  (ioodwin  said  that  he  and  Mrs. 
Goodwin  rclin(|uished  all  claim  to  the  organ.  "It 
is  henceforth  neither  mine  nor  yours,  but  the 
Lord's,  to  whom  I  now  dedicate  it." 

Dr.  Loss"  pastorate  continued  until  Xovember, 
1849.  He  was  a  man  of  ability  and  thorough  edu- 
cation. He  went  from  Rockford  to  Jolict.  where 
he  had  charge  of  a  church  until  1856.  His  last 
pastorate  was  at  Marshalltown,  Iowa,  where  he 
died.  In  his  last  illness  lie  longed  to  see  his  old 
friend  and  physician.  Dr.  Lucius  Clark,  of  this 
city :  and  his  church  sent  for  the  doctor  and  paid 
his  traveling  expenses. 

Dr.  Loss  was  succeeded  by  the  Rev.  Henry  M. 
Goodwin.  D.  D.,  who  perha])s  gave  to  the  church 
its  most  distinctive  i)astorate.  It  extended  from 
.August.  1850.  to  January.  187J.  This  period  of 
more  than  twenty-one  years  constitutes  nearlv 
one-third  of  its  entire  history.  The  interim  be- 
tween the  departure  of  Dr.  Loss  and  Dr.  Good- 
win's acceptance  was  supi)lied  by  Prof.  Joseph 
Emerson,  of  Pieloit  college.  Dr.  Goodwin  was 
graduated  frnni  ^'ale,  and  the  Rockford  church 
was  his  first  (k'lrish. 

.Soon  after  leaving  Rnckford.  Dr.  (ioodwin 
wrote  a  Itook  entitled  Christ  and  Humauitv.  which 
was  publislied  l)v  the  Harpers.  It  was  dedicated 
to  his  friend  in  these  nol)le  words:  "To  Horace 
liushnell.  my  reverend  friend  and  teacher,  whose 
profiiimil  and  sanctified  genius  has  made  the 
world  his  debtor,  and  whose  eminent  services  to 
C1iristianit\  in  the  reconciliation  of  faitli  and  rea- 


son await  the  verdict  of  the  future  ages,  these 
later  studies  of  Christian  doctrine  are  filially  and 
affectionately  inscribed  by  the  author."  This 
work  was  written  while  the  author  was  enjoying 
an  extended  sojourn  in  (iermaiiy.  In  1875  Dr. 
(ioodwin  was  called  to  the  chair  of  English  liter- 
ature by  the  college  at  Olivet,  Michigan,  which  he 
filled  for  several  years.  His  death  occurred  at 
the  home  of  his  daughter.  Mrs.  Weld,  in  Wil- 
liamstown.  Massachusetts,  March  i.  189^.  Dr. 
Goodwin  was  seventy-one  years  of  age.  His  re- 
mains were  brought  to  Rockford  for  burial. 

The  following  named  ministers  have  been  Dr. 
Goodwin's  successors  to  date :  Revs.  Wilder 
Smith.  Theodore  Clifton,  William  White  Leete. 
F'rederick  H.  Bodnian.  and  Frank  M.  Sheldon, 
who  began  his  pastorate  Sunday,  September  3. 
1895.    The  present  membership  is  about  385. 

FIRST   I'.VTRioTic  ci-:i.i:i!K.\ rn ).v. 

The  iiatriotism  nf  the  little  village  did  not  dif- 
fer essentially  from  the  jirevailing  tyi)e.  It  neces- 
sarily found  its  expression  in  more  primitive  ways 
than  it  does  at  the  present  time.  There  was 
such  a  display  of  elo(|uence  and  gunpowder  as 
the  times  afforded  :  and  the  amusements  differed 
somewhat  from  those  of  to-day. 

The  morning  of  July  4,  1837.  was  welcomed 
with  the  boom  of  all  available  artillery.  William 
Penfield's  blacksmith's  anvil  did  heroic  service. 
.A.  hickory  liberty-pole  was  raised  near  what  is 
now  310  East  State  street.  Patriotic  exercises 
were  held  in  Mr.  Haight's  barn,  which  stood  in 
the  grove  near  the  intersection  o(  State  and  Tl-ird 
streets.  The  bay  was  floored  for  the  speakers, 
and  the  ihreshing-fioor  was  occu])ied  by  the  ladies. 
Charles  1.  Ibirsman  read  the  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence, and  Hon.  John  C.  Kemble  was  the 
orator  of  the  day.  Dinner  was  served  in  the  old 
Rockford  House  by  the  ]jro])rietor.  Henry  Thurs- 
ton. The  main  part  of  the  building  had  been 
covered  with  a  roof,  and  was  sided  to  the  first- 
stovy  windows.  Loose  boards  were  laid  for  a 
floor,  tables  were  arranged,  and.  in  the  absence  of 
crockery,  the  cold  meat  was  served  on  shingles. 
The  tickets  for  this  dinner  were  sold  at  one  dollar 
each,  and  this  feature  of  the  celebration  was  a 
financial  success.  The  celebration  was  concluded 
with  a  public  ball,  the  first  in  the  county,  given 
in  Mr.  Haight's  barn. 

FIRST  TKR.MS  OF  CIKl  L'lT  COURT. 

The  act  establishing  the  county  had  provided 
that  until  public  buildings  should  be  erected,  the 
circuit  courts  should  be  held  at  the  house  of  Mr. 
Kent  or  Mr.  ilaight,  as  the  county  commissioners 
sliould  direct.  At  the  first  session  of  this  court 
it  was  ordere<l  that,  pending  the  location  of  the 


PAST  AXD  PRESENT  OF  WIXXEBAGO  COUNTY. 


23 


count}-  seat,  the  circuit  courts  should  be  held  at 
the  house  of  J\Ir.  Haight.  An  examination  at  the 
circuit  clerk's  office  reveals  the  almost  incredible 
fact  that  no  records  of  this  court  previous  to  1854, 
except  the  simple  dockets  of  the  judge,  have  been 
preserved.  The  conclusion  must  be  drawn  that 
this  docket  was  the  only  record  made  at  the  time. 
Memoranda  kept  by  individuals  have  given  facts 
upon  which  the  official  records  are  silent. 

The  first  circuit  court  convened  at  the  house  of 
Daniel  S.  Haight,  October  6,  1837.  This  is  the 
frame  building  which  stood  on  the  northeast 
corner  of  Madison  and  State  streets,  and  a  part 
of  which  is  now  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Sec- 
ond and  Walnut  streets.  At  that  time  there  was 
no  elective  judiciary.  Under  the  old  constitution 
the  justices  of  the  supreme  court  and  the  judges 
of  the  inferior  courts  were  appointed  by  joint 
ballot  of  both  branches  of  the  general  assembly. 
Under  this  same  fundamental  law,  these  courts 
appointed  their  own  clerks.  The  state's  attorney 
was  also  ajipointed.  The  statute  of  1835  P''0" 
vided  that  the  general  assembly,  on  joint  ballot. 
at  that  session,  and  every  two  years  thereafter, 
should  choose  one  state's  attorney  for  each  ju- 
dicial circuit. 

At  this  first  court  Hon.  Dan.  Stone,  of  Galena, 
was  the  presiding  judge.  Seth  B.  Farwell  was 
appointed  state's  attorney  pro  tem ;  and  James 
^Mitchell,  then  of  Jo  Daviess  county,  clerk.  Mr. 
Mitchell  held  this  position  until  1846,  when  he 
was  chosen  superintendent  of  the  lead  mines.  He 
was  succeeded  as  clerk  by  Jason  Marsh,  who  was 
appointed  by  Judge  Thomas  C.  Brown.  The 
offices  of  circuit  clerk  and  recorder  w-ere  separate 
until  the  second  constitution  went  into  effect, 
when  they  were  united,  and  this  officer  was  made 
elective. 

The  petit  jurors  on  duty  at  the  first  term  were: 
Edward  Gating,  James  B.  Martyn,  Joel  Pike,  Wil- 
liam Pepper,  Richard  Montague,  Isaac  N.  Cun- 
ningham, Thatcher  Blake,  Henry  Thurston, 
Charles  I.  Horsman,  David  Goodrich,  James  Jack- 
son, and  Cyrus  C.  Jenks.  There  were  but  two 
trials  by  jury,  and  these  were  of  very  little  im- 
portance. 

The  sessions  of  May.  1838.  and  April  18.  1839, 
were  also  held  at  Mr.  Haight's  house ;  although, 
for  convenience,  a  room  in  the  Rockford  Hotise, 
on  the  corner  west,  was  actually  used  when  more 
room  was  required.  The  first  grand  jury  was  im- 
paneled at  the  May  term.  1838.  The  names  of 
this  jury  were :  Anson  Barnum.  Lyman  Amsden. 
Isaac  Johnson,  James  Sayre,  H.  AI.  Wattles,  Asa 
Daggett,  H.  W.  Gleason.  Samuel  Gregory,  Asa 
Crosby,  Daniel  Beers,  Walter  Earle,  Isaac  Hance, 
Benjamin  T.  Lee,  E.  H.  Potter,  Paul  D.  Taylor, 
Lyman  B.  Carrier,  Aaron  Felts,  Cyrus  C.  Jenks, 
James  B.  Alartyn.  Livingston  Robbins.  Henry 
Enoch,   and   Luman   Pettibone.      Anson    Barnum 


was  appointed  foreman.  At  this  term  the  usual 
order  was  reversed,  in  that  the  judge  occupied  one 
of  the  few  chairs  in  the  house,  while  the  jury 
"sat  on  the  bench.'' 

The  first  building  erected  for  the  use  of  courts 
and  religious  meetings  was  built  by  Mr.  Haight, 
in  the  summer  of  1838,  on  the  southeast  corner 
of  Madison  and  Market  streets,  on  the  site  of 
the  American  House.  It  was  a  frame  structure, 
about  sixteen  by  thirty-two  feet,  with  one  story. 
This  house,  with  additions,  is  now  the  residence 
of  William  G.  Conick.  In  this  building  were 
I)robably  held  the  sessions  of  November,  1839, 
and  April,  1840.  Several  of  the  lawyers  who  at- 
tended the  courts  in  those  days  attained  distinc- 
tion in  their  profession.  Among  these  may  be 
mentioned  Judge  Drummond,  then  of  Galena, 
who  removed  to  Chicago  and  became  a  judge  of 
a  federal  court :  Thompson  Campbell,  of  Galena  ; 
Joel  Wells,  who  canvassed  the  district  for  con- 
gress ;  Norman  B.  Judd,  of  Chicago ;  and  Seth 
B.  Farwell  and  Martin  P.  Sweet,  of  Freeport. 
The  famous  John  Wentworth,  "Long  John," 
made  his  maiden  speech  in  Rockford,  as  attorney 
in  a  case  that  promised  to  bring  him  prominently 
before  the  public.  Mr.  Wentworth  made  fre- 
quent visits  to  Rockford  in  later  years  ;  and  for 
several  terms  he  represented  the  Belvidere  dis- 
trict in  congress. 

September  12.  1840,  the  county  purchased  the 
abandoned  building  on  North  First  street,  which 
had  been  commenced  by  the  First  Congregational 
church  two  years  before.  The  consideration  was 
six  hundred  dollars.  The  deed  was  executed  bv 
H.  B.  Potter,  E.  H.  Potter,  and  S.  D.  Preston. 
Since  the  building  had  been  abandoned  by  the 
Congregationalist  people  it  had  been  used  as  a  car- 
penter's shop.  When  the  county  obtained  pos- 
session the  building  was  partially  finished  so  that 
the  courts  could  be  held  there.  The  session  of 
September  10,  1840,  and  subsequent  sessions  were 
held  at  this  place  until  the  transfer  of  the  court 
house  to  the  West  side. 

THE  ST.\GE  CO.VCH. 

The  state  roads  naturally  prepared  the  way  for 
the  stage  coach.  The  railroad  had  not  then 
reached  this  western  region,  and  the  only  com- 
mon carrier  was  "the  coach  and  four."  Stage 
lines  were  then  running  from  Chicago  in  several 
directions.  They  carried  mails,  passengers  and 
light  parcels.  Frink,  Walker  &  Co.  became  fa- 
mous throughout  this  region  as  the  proprietors  of 
the  one  stage  line  which  connected  Chicago  with 
Rockford.  It  is  impossible  to  determine  the  pre- 
cise date  when  the  stage  coach  began  to  make 
regular  trips  on  this  line  as  far  west  as  Rockford. 
It  is  certain  that  it  had  thus  become  an  established 
institution  not  later  than  January   i,    1838.     On 


PAST     AXI)     PRESFA'T    OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUXTY 


tliat  (l;iy  ilu-  arrival  of  the  siai,'f  coach  in  Rock- 
foffl  attracted  the  attention  of  the  peoijle  of  the 
villafje.  and  hir^e  numbers  came  from  tlie  sur- 
roim(Hii}jf  country  to  witness  the  siK'Ctacle.  The 
stafje  office  in  Chicago  was  for  a  lonj;  time  at  123 
Lake  street,  and  later  at  tlie  southwest  corner  of 
Lake  and  Dearborn. 

Frink.  Walker  &  Co.  first  ran  their  sta.tje  lines 
only  from  Chicago  to  Rockford.  The  coaclics 
were  alwavs  drawn  by  four  horses.  In  1840  the 
schedule  time  from  Chicago  to  Rockford  was 
advertiseil  to  be  twenty-four  hours.  Horses 
were  changed  at  intervals  of  fifteen  miles,  at 
stations  built  for  this  purpose.  Frink,  Walker 
&  Co.'s  stage  barn  in  Rockford  was  the  well 
known  barn  near  the  intersection  of  State  and 
Third  .streets,  and  faced  nttrth  and  south.  It 
was  built  in  1836  for  Mr.  Maight  by  Sidney  Two- 
good  and  Thomas  Lake,  l-'ew  buildings  in  the 
county  have  served  more  diverse  uses.  It  was 
there  the  first  patriotic  exercises  were  held ; 
tiiere  the  First  Congregational  people  first  held 
public  services  on  the  East  side.  When  Frink, 
Walker  &  Co.  |)urchased  the  building,  it  was 
luoved  a  few  rods  west,  and  turned  to  face  east 
and  west.  There  the  first  (|uarterly  meeting  of 
the  I'irst  Methodist  church  was  held  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1838. 

Coaches  left  tlie  main  office  in  Chicago  every 
Sunday.  Tuesdav  and  Thursday,  and  returned  on 
alternate  days.  The  fare  from  Chicago  to  Rock- 
ford was  five  dollars. 

From  Rockfi>rd  to  Galena  the  stage  lino  was 
conducted  for  a  time  by  John  D.  Winters,  of 
l-llizabeth.  a  little  town  south  of  Clalena.  The 
route  first  i)assc<l  through  Elizabeth,  but  subse- 
(|uently  the  luore  direct  route  was  by  wav  of 
I'reeport.  The  first  stopping-place  west  of 
Rockford  was  Twelve-Mile  drove.  Mr,  Winters 
retired  from  the  business  after  a  time,  and  then 
Frink.  Walker  &  Co.  had  the  entire  line  from 
tliicago  to  ( ;alena.  The  late  William  Cunning- 
ham was  in  the  employ  of  this  firm  at  one  time 
as  a  driver  between  Twelve-Mile  Grove  and 
I'reeiwrt. 

K.\UI.V    IIOIKI.S. 

The  first  hotel  in  Rockford  was  the  Rockford 
House.  The  early  ])ublic  houses  were  more 
generally  called  t;uerns.  lleforc  the  Rockford 
Hnu.se  was  built,  .Mr.  Kent  and  a  number  of  the 
other  settlers  had  entertained  strangers,  but  not 
as  regular  hotel-keei)ers.  The  Rockford  House 
was  Iniilt  by  Daniel  S.  Haight  and  Charles  S. 
Oliver.  It  stood  on  the  site  of  the  Young  Men's 
Christian  .Association  building.  The  wing  was 
finished  in  the  aiUimin  of  1S37,  when  the  house 
was  o|)ened  by  Henry  Thurston.  The  third  story, 
which  was  divided  into  two  rooms,  was  reached 


b\  a  ladder,  which  was  made  by  slats  nailed  to 
two  pieces  of  the  studiling,  in  the  first  story  of 
tlie  main  building.  The  pro()rietor's  son  John 
was  an  important  functionary.  He  made  the 
beds  and  escorted  the  guests  u))  the  ladder  when 
they  retired.  He  was  admonished  bv  his  sire 
not  to  drop  the  melted  tallow  from  the  di])  ujMin 
nis  guests.  .Mr.  Thurston's  successors  as  land- 
lord were  Lathro]}  Johnson,  Daniel  Howell,  .An- 
drew lirown,  J.  SchaefYer,  .\bel  Cami)bell,  E. 
Radcliflf.  .Major  John  William.son,  Elam  Zim- 
merman. This  hotel  was  burned  March  7,  i86g. 
The  second  hotel,  the  Washington  House,  was 
built  in  1838  by  two  brothers.  Jacob  B.  and 
Thomas  Miller,  and  opened  to  the  |)ublic  the  fol- 
lowing year.  Jt  stood  sixty  feet  front  on  .State 
street,  with  large  additions  in  the  rear,  with  base- 
ment kitchen,  dining-room,  and  sleejiing  apart- 
ments above  the  dining-room.  The  name  of  this 
hotel  was  changed  to  the  Rock  River  house.  A 
part  of  the  building  stands  on  307  East  State 
street,  and  is  occu])ied  as  a  fruit  store.  Another 
part  is  the  saloon  building  on  the  southeast  cor- 
ner of  State  and  .Madison  streets.  The  suc- 
cessive proprietors  nf  the  house  w-ere :  Jacob 
Miller.  David  Paul,  McKenney  &  Tyler,  E.  S. 
r.lackstonc,  W.  Fulton.  H.  D.  Searles,  L.  Cald- 
well. 

The  log  tavern,  known  as  the  Stage  House, 
was  opened  in  1838.  It  was  built  on  the  old  Sec- 
ond Xational  Hank  corner.  Brown's  Cottage  was 
opened  in  1850  by  .\ndrcw  Brown.  The  name 
was  changed  to  the  .American  House  in  1852  bv 
G.  S.  \Ioore.  The  Waverly  and  the  Union 
House,  near  the  Xorthwestern  depot,  on  the  West 
side,  were  opened  in  1852.  The  Inn,  which  was 
located  where  the  Chick  House  now  stan<ls.  was 
opened  in  1840  by  Spencer  &  Fuller.  The  I^agle 
Hotel  was  ODcned  in  1841.  It  was  located  on 
>ontli  Main  street,  in  the  third  block  below  State. 
In  the  autumn  of  1838  was  erected  by  Dr. 
Haskell  the  brick  building  wiiich  was  known 
later  as  the  Winnebago  House,  on  Andrew  .\sh- 
ton's  corner.  When  laying  out  the  ground  for 
the  cellar  Mr.  Silsby  persuaded  Dr.  Haskell  to 
set  his  building  six  feet  from  the  line  of  the 
street.  The  Winnebago  House  was  the  first  brick 
store  built  above  Rock  Island  on  Rock  river. 
Into  this  store  Dr.  Haskell  moved  the  slock  of 
goods  from  the  building  on  the  river  bank  which 
hafl  been  occu|)ied  by  Piatt  &•  Sanford  :  and  he 
and  Isaiah  Lvon  continued  the  business.  In  1843 
-Mr.  Lyon  closed  <iut  the  stock  and  converted  the 
building  into  a  hotel,  luider  the  name  of  the 
Winnebago  House.  Mr.  Lvon's  successors  as 
proprietor  were  X.  Crawford.  C.  C.  Cobern.  P. 
C.  \\'atson,  James  P..  Pierce.  Isaac  X.  Ciuuiing- 
ham.  and  D.  Sholts.  The  building  passed  into 
Mr.  Seaton's  hands  in  1854  and  was  afterwanl 
rearranged  into  stores. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


25 


THREE    PIONEER    PHYSICIAN'S    OF    1838. 

As  noted  in  a  previous  paragraph.  Dr.  A.  M. 
Catlin  emigrated  to  Illinois  from  the  Western 
Reserve,  in  Ohio,  in  February,  1838.  He  moved 
to  a  log  cabin  on  the  bluff  overlooking  Big  Bot- 
tom, four  miles  north  of  Kockford.  A  Hoosier 
by  the  name  of  Shores  had  worn  a  slight  track 
between  his  home  back  on  the  hills  and  a  iilowed 
field  on  the  Bottom,  and  this  was  the  onlv  road 
near  the  doctor's  new  home.  A  small,  inconstant, 
near-by  stream,  like  the  road,  lost  itself  in  the 
dry  prairie.  At  that  time  Dr.  Catlin  intended  to 
abandon  the  practice  of  medicine.  To  feed  his 
little  family,  he  nired  a  broken  prairie  of  Her- 
man B.  Potter,  who  lived  two  miles  south  of 
Rockford.  This  land,  six  miles  from  home,  the 
doctor  cultivated  under  difficulties,  for  it  soon 
became  known  to  the  scattered  people  that  he  was 
a  physician,  and,  like  Cincinnatus,  he  was  called 
from  the  plow.  He  was  not  a  man  to  deny  the 
necessities  of  others ;  and  against  his  wishes  at 
the  time,  he  was  drawn  into  the  practice  of  his 
profession,  which  he  continued  tmtil  near  the  day 
of  his  death,  nearly  sixty  years  later.  He  had 
practiced  in  early  life  in  New  York  and  Ohio, 
and  his  entire  professional  service  lasted  seventy 
years.     He  died  in  t8q2.  at  the  age  of  ninety-one. 

Dr.  Josiah  C.  Goodhue  settled  in  Rockford  in 
the  autumn  of  1838.  He  had  attained  some  dis- 
tinction before  he  became  a  citizen  of  this  county. 
He  was  born  in  1803,  at  Putney,  Vermont.  The 
doctor  was  graduated  from  the  school  of  medi- 
cine at  Yale,  and  began  practice  at  St.  Thomas, 
Upper  Canada,  in  1824.  While  there  he  was 
married  to  Miss  Catherine  Dunn.  The  doctor 
emigrated  from  Canada  to  Chicago  in  1835.  He 
was  the  first  resident  physician  in  that  city  out- 
side the  garrison  of  Fort  Dearborn.  When  Chi- 
cago was  incorporated  as  a  city  in  1837,  Dr. 
Goodliue  was  elected  the  first  alderman  from  the 
First  ward.  There  were  six  wards  in  the  city  at 
that  time.  William  B.  Ogden  was  chosen  mayor 
in  that  year.  Dr.  Goodhue  designed  the  first 
city  seal  of  Chicago,  and  it  became  known  as  his 
little  baby.  He  was  quite  proud  of  his  offspring. 
The  doctor  was  the  real  founder  of  the  first  free 
school  system  of  Chicago.  He  was  one  of  a  com- 
mittee appointed  to  solicit  subscriptions  for  the 
first  railroad  chartered  to  run  from  the  city,  the 
Galena  &  Chicago  Union.  In  his  practice  in  Chi- 
cago Dr.  (ioodhue  was  associated  with  Dr. 
Daniel  Brainard.  Their  office  was  on  Lake 
street,  near  the  old  Tremont  House.  John  \\'ent- 
worth  and  Ebenezer  Peck  were  engaged  in  the 
practice  of  law  in  the  same  building.  Dr.  Good- 
hue was  one  of  the  men  who  drew  the  act  of  in- 
corporation for  Rush  Medical  college,  and  was 
a  member  of  the  first  board  of  trustees.  Dr. 
Goodhue's  first  house  in  Rockford  was  what  was 
then  known  as  the  "ball  alley,"  on  the  northwest 


corner  of  ]Madison  and  \\'alnut  streets,  where  the 
Golden  Censer  brick  building  was  subsequently 
erected.  He  afterward  purchased  a  home  on  the 
site  of  the  watch  factory :  and  the  house  was 
moved  away  when  the  factory  was  built.  The 
lot  had  at  one  time  a  pleasant  grove,  with  no 
fence.  Reference  was  made  in  a  preceding  para- 
graph to  the  fact  that  Dr.  Goodhue  gave  to  the 
city  of  Rockford  its  name.  Dr.  Goodhue  had 
thirteen  children,  five  of  whom  died  under  five 
years  of  age.  Four  sons  and  four  daughters  at- 
tained adult  life.  One  son,  George  Washington 
Goodhue,  died  of  yellow  fever,  in  Mexico,  dur- 
ing the  war  with  that  country.  Another  son, 
William  Sewcll,  died  from  illness  contracted  dur- 
ing the  Civil  war.  He  had  read  law  with  James 
L.  Loop.  Dr.  Goodhue's  oldest  daughter,  jMrs. 
C.  F.  Holland,  widow  of  Jolm  A.  Holland,  and 
step-mother  of  H.  P.  Holland,  now  resides  in 
Chicago.  Mrs.  Hoyt  Barnum,  another  daugh- 
ter, is  a  resident  of  Rockford.  Dr.  Goodhue's 
death  was  the  result  of  an  accident  on  the  night 
of  December  31.  1847.  He  was  called  to  make  a 
professional  visit  to  the  family  of  Richard  Stiles, 
four  miles  west  on  the  State  road.  After  caring 
for  his  patient,  he  accompanied  Mrs.  Stoughton, 
a  neighbor,  to  her  home.  The  night  was  dark, 
and  he  fell  into  a  well,  which  was  then  being 
excavated,  and  had  not  been  covered  or  inclosed. 
Mrs.  Stoughton  had  asked  him  to  wait  until  she 
returned  with  a  light :  but  Isefore  she  came  back 
the  doctor  had  made  the  fatal  fall.  He  survived 
only  a  short  time  after  he  was  taken  from  the 
well.  His  death  was  deplored  by  the  entire  com- 
munity. He  was  a  positive  character :  nature  had 
liberally  endowed  him  in  qualities  of  mind  and 
heart.  Dr.  Goodhue  was  an  attendant  at  the 
Unitarian  church.  Mrs.  Goocinue  was  an  Epis- 
copalian. She  died  October  14,  1873.  A  son  of 
Dr.  Goodhue  died  November  14,  1880. 

Dr.  Alden  Thomas  was  born  at  Woodstock, 
\'ermont,  November  11,  1797,  and  was  a  lineal 
descendant  from  John  Alden.  He  was  married 
to  Elizabeth  Marsh,  June  15,  1824.  In  the 
autumn  of  1839  the  family  came  to  Rockford. 
He  practiced  medicine  about  five  or  six  years,  and 
then  removed  to  a  farm  two  miles  south  on  the 
Kishwaukee  road,  where  he  lived  about  two  years. 
The  family  then  returned  to  the  village,  and 
lived  for  a  time  in  a  house  still  standing  on  South 
Second  street,  and  later  in  the  Grout  house  near 
the  corner  west  of  the  First  Congregational 
church,  which  Dr.  Thomas  built.  He  opened  a 
drug  store  soon  after  his  return  from  the  farm, 
and  continued  in  this  business  until  a  short  time 
before  his  death,  which  occurred  iMarch  21,  1856. 

PR.   HASKELL  AND  THE  FIRST   STEAMER. 

On  the  morning  of  April  16.  1838.  Dr.  Haskell 
and    family,    IMowry    Brown    and    wife,    Samuel 


26 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


Haskell.  11.  11.  Sil.shy,  Isaiah  Lyoii,  Caleb  P.lood 
aiul  William  Hull  boanleil  the  steamboat  Gipsy 
at  Alt! III.  Illinois.  The  destinatinn  of  this  party 
was  RtK-kford.  Tlie  river  was  hijjh,  the  bottom 
lands  were  overflowed,  and  the  boat  sometimes 
left  the  ehannel  of  the  .Mississii)))i  and  ran  across 
points  of  land,  and  once  went  tbronsht  a  jjrove 
of  timber.  When  the  Gipsy  arriveil  at  Rock 
Island  and  ran  alonjjside  the  wharf-boat,  a  strong 
wind  from  the  east  turned  the  bow  out  into  the 
stream.  .\s  the  Ixxit  turned,  the  rudder  struck 
the  wharf-boat  and  broke  the  tiller  rojies.  This 
accident  rendered  the  boat  unmanageable,  and 
it  was  blown  across  the  river  to  Davenport, 
Iowa.  While  at  Rock  Island  Dr.  Haskell  con- 
tracted with  the  ca|)tain  that  upon  his  return  from 
( ialena  he  would  steam  up  Rock  river  to  Rock- 
ford.  .\t  Savamia,  Samuel  Haskell.  William 
Hull  and  H.  H.  Silsby  left  the  Gipsy.  They  had 
come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  boat  would  never 
reach  Kockfonl:  and  in  company  with  Moses 
Wallen.  of  Winiiebas'o  village,  where  the  county 
seat  had  been  located  by  the  special  commission- 
ers, they  started  afoot  for  Rockford.  They 
stop])ed  over  night  at  Cherry  Grove,  and  the  next 
morning  they  traveled  to  Crane's  Grove,  on  the 
stage  route  from  Dixon  to  Galena.  There  they 
hired  a  c<iach  and  team  which  brought  them  that 
evening  to  Liximis'  Hotel. 

Mr.  Silsby  writes  that  a  few  days  after  his 
arrival  he  arose  one  morning  as  soon  as  it  was 
light  to  see  if  he  could  discover  any  sign  of  the 
(jipsy.  He  was  rewarded  by  the  sight  of  dense, 
black  smoke,  near  Corey's  bluff,  which  seemed  to 
be  moving  uj)  the  river.  Soon  the  Gipsy  came 
in  sight,  and  the  ])eople  gathered  on  the  banks  of 
the  river  and  cheered  the  lx)at  as  it  ascended  in 
fine  style  until  nearly  over  the  rapids,  when  it 
suddenlv  turned,  swung  around,  and  went  down 
stream  much  faster  than  it  ascended.  It  rounded 
to  and  tried  it  again,  and  soon  turned  down 
stream  a  second  time.  After  several  attempts, 
with  the  ai<l  of  a  fjuantity  of  lard  thrown  into  the 
furnaces,  the  boat  ran  up  the  swift  current,  and 
soon  tied  up  to  the  bank  in  front  of  Piatt  & 
Sanford's  store,  which  stood  near  the  water's 
edge,  in  the  rear  of  the  .Masonic  Temple  site. 
The  ( iipsy  was  the  first  steamer  that  visited 
Rockford.  It  was  a  stern-wheeler,  not  less  than 
one  hundred  feet  in  length,  and  perhaps  thirty  in 
width.  It  had  a  cabin  above  the  hold,  and  an 
upper  deck,  ripen  and  uncovered,  lliere  were 
several  state-rooms. 

Dr.  Haskell  was  a  native  of  Massachusetts.  He 
was  born  at  Harvard.  March  23,  1709.  His 
father.  Samuel  Haskell,  removed  to  Waterford. 
Maine,  in  180V  I"  1821  the  son  went  to  Phil- 
lips I'xeter  academy,  and  entered  Dartmouth 
college  in  1823.  He  left  his  college  class  in  his 
sophomore  year,  and  studied  medicine  until  1827. 


when  he  received  the  degree  of  M.  D.  from  the 
college.  While  in  college  he  taught  one  term  of 
district  school  in  East  Haverhill.  One  of  his 
pu|)ils  was  lohn  (i.  Whittier :  and  the  school- 
master in  Whittier's  "Snow- Bound"  was  his  for- 
mer teacher.  On  page  thirty-four  of  Samuel  T. 
rickard's  Life  and  Letters  of  Whittier,  is  found 
this  allusion  to  the  hero  of  this  jioem:  "Lntil 
near  the  end  01  Mr.  Whittier's  life  he  could  not 
recall  the  name  of  this  teacher  whose  portrait  is 
so  carefully  sketched,  but  he  was  sure  he  came 
from  Maine.  .\t  length,  he  remembered  that  the 
name  was  Haskell,  and  from  this  clew  it  has  been 
ascertaine<l  that  he  was  ( ieorge  Haskell,  and  that 
he  came  from  Waterfnrd.  .\laine."  Dr.  Haskell 
never  api:)eared  to  have  been  aware  of  the  fact 
that  his  gifted  Haverhill  nupil  had  immortalized 
him  in  "Snow-Bound."  Dr.  Haskell  also  received 
this  tribute  as  a  teacher  from  his  illustrious 
j)ui>il.  as  given  in  a  later  chapter  of  Mr.  Pick- 
ard's  biographv:  "He  [Whittier]  was  accus- 
tomed to  say  that  only  two  of  the  teachers  who 
were  emplovcd  in  that  district  during  his  school 
days  were  fit  for  the  not  very  exacting  |iosition 
they  occupied.  P.oth  of  these  were  Dartmouth 
students :  one  of  them  George  Haskell,  to  whom 
reference  has  already  Ix^en  made."  Dr.  Haskell 
began  the  practice  of  medicine  at  East  Cambridge, 
.Massachusetts,  in  1S27.  and  removed  to  .\shby,  in 
tlic  same  state,  in  the  following  year. 

Dr.  Haskell  came  to  Illinois  in  1831.  and  set- 
tled at  Etlwardsville.  and  two  years  later  he  re- 
moved to  L'pper  Alton.  While  there  he  became 
one  of  the  founders  of  Shurtleflf  college,  of 
which  he  was  trustee  and  treasurer.  The  doctor 
built  u])  a  large  jiractice,  which  he  soon  aban- 
doned. November  7.  1837,  the  cause  of  the 
slave  received  its  first  bai)tism  of  blood.  On  that 
day  Rev.  Elijah  P.  Lovejov  was  murdered  at 
Alton,  for  his  bold  utterances  in  behalf  of  an 
oppressed  race.  Dr.  Haskell  entertained  radical 
anti-slavery  views,  and  he  determined  to  leave 
that  ])ortion  of  the  state  in  which  the  pro-slavery 
sentiment  was  largely  prednminaiit. 

From  the  time  of  his  arrival  in  Rockford  until 
his  removal  from  the  city  about  twenty-eight 
vears  later.  Dr.  Haskell  was  a  broad-minded, 
re])reseiitative  man  of  affairs.  He  conducted  for 
a  short  time  a  mercantile  business  on  the  river 
bank,  as  the  successor  to  Piatt  &  Sanford.  But 
his  ruling  passion  was  horticulture.  He  entered 
from  the  government  c|uite  a  tract  of  land  lying 
north  of  Xorth  street,  and  built  the  house  on 
North  .Main  street  now  occupied  by  (ieorge  R. 
h'orbes.  He  ])I:nited  a  nursery  and  became  an 
expert  in  raising  fruit.  It  is  said  that  one  year 
he  raised  sixty  luishels  of  peaches.  The  severe 
winter  of  iS!;^-^^)  killed  his  trees,  and  from  that 
time  he  devoted  his  attention  to  more  hardy 
fruits.     His  later  Rockford  home  was  on  Nortii 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


27 


Court  street,  near  the  residence  of  Hon.  Andrew 
Asliton. 

Dr.  Haskell  was  generous  and  public-spirited. 
He  and  his  brother-in-law,  John  Edwards,  pre- 
sented to  the  city  the  West  Side  public  square, 
which  -was  named  Plaskell  Park,  in  honor  of  the 
former.  A  street,  called  Edwards  Place,  forms 
the  southern  boundary  of  the  park.  A  ward 
schoolhouse  in  \\'est  Rockford  also  bears  Dr. 
Haskell's  name.  In  1853  Dr.  Haskell  became  a 
convert  to  Spiritualism,  and  April  15,  1854,  he 
began  the  publication  of  the  Spirit  Advocate,  an 
eight-page  monthly.  The  paper  was  an  able 
propagandist  of  the  new  faith.  A  complete  file 
of  this  paper  has  been  preserved  in  the  Rockford 
public  lilirary.  Twenty-three  numbers  were 
published. 

In  1866  Dr.  Haskell  removed  to  New  Jersey. 
There  he  was  engaged  in  founding  an  industrial 
school,  and  purchased  with  others  a  tract  of  four 
thousand  acres  «hich  was  laid  out  for  a  model 
communit}'.  In  1857  Dartmouth  college  gave  the 
doctor  the  degree  of  A.  B.,  as  of  the  year  1827. 
Dr.  Haskell  died  at  Yineland,  New  Jersey, 
August  23,  1876. 

PIONEERS  OF  1838-1839. 

James  ]\Iadison  ^^'ig■ht  was  born  in  Norwich, 
^Massachusetts,  in  1810.  He  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  of  Queens  county.  New  York,  in  1837,  and 
immediately  afterwards  came  west.  He  first 
joined  his  brother.  J.  Ambrose  Wight,  in  Rock- 
ton.  But  he  found  no  field  in  that  village  for  the 
practice  of  his  profession  :  and  he  came  in  1838 
to  Rockford,  where  for  a  time  he  taught  school. 
In  his  earlv  life  he  served  a  few  terms  as  city 
attorney  of  Rockford.  He  was  one  of  the 
pioneer  lawyers  of  northern  Illinois,  and  built 
'.ip  a  large  practice.  He  was  for  many  years  local 
attorney  for  the  Chicago  &  Northwestern  rail- 
road and  for  other  corporations.  He  was  also 
for  a  time  a  member  of  the  state  legislature,  and 
served  on  the  judiciary  committee.  Air.  Wight 
was  a  member  of  the  constitutional  convention 
of  1870.  called  to  draft  a  new  constitution  for 
submission  to  the  voters  of  the  state.  He  died 
in  Rockford  in  1877. 

Jason  Alarsh  was  born  in  \\'oodstock,  Windsor 
county,  Vermont,  in  1807.  He  came  to  Rock- 
ford in  183Q.  He  was  accompanied  by  his  wife 
and  children,  a  brother  and  wife,  and  his  three 
brothers-in-law.  Soon  after  his  arrival  he  and 
the  three  Spafford  brothers  built  the  brick  house 
three  miles  south  of  State  street,  on  the  Kish- 
waukee  road,  later  owned  by  F.  J.  Morey.  A 
large  farm  was  attached.  ]Mr.  Marsh  drove  daily 
to  the  village,  where  he  practiced  his  profession. 
His  later  home  was  the  residence  subsequently 
owned  bv  the  late  W.  W.  Fairfield,  on  East  State 


street.  In  1862  Mr.  Marsh  entered  military 
service  as  colonel  of  the  Seventy-fourth  Illinois 
Infantry.  He  was  severely  wounded  at  the  battle 
of  Missionary  Ridge  in  the  autumn  of  1863,  and 
returned  home.  Two  months  later  he  again  went 
to  the  front.  In  the  campaign  from  Chattanooga 
to  Atlanta  his  old  wound  troubled  him,  and  he 
resigned.  His  last  years  were  spent  on  his  farm 
near  Durand.  His  death  occurred  at  the  home  of 
his  daughter  in  Chicago.  March  13,  i88r.  He 
was  buried  in  Rockford  with  military  honors. 

Francis  Burnap  was  born  at  Merrimac,  New 
Hampshire,  January  4,  1796.  Mr.  Burnap  set- 
tled in  Rockford  in  August,  1839,  and  began  the 
practice  of  law  in  Winnebago  and  neighboring 
counties,  in  the  state  supreme  court,  and  in  the 
federal  courts.  He  practiced  his  profession  until 
1864,  when  ill  health  compelled  him  to  retire. 
Mr.  r.urnap  died  in  Rockford,  December  2,  1866. 

Duncan  Ferguson  was  a  native  of  Scotland. 
He  was  born  in  Glasgow,  in  November,  1810.  In 
1837  he  left  his  native  land  and  came  to  the 
United  States.  He  first  settled  in  Pennsylvania, 
where  he  remained  two  years,  ilr.  Ferguson 
removed  with  his  family  to  Rockford  in  1839.  In 
1840  he  was  elected  surveyor  and  justice  of  the 
peace.  He  held  the  office  of  surveyor  until  1856. 
In  1862  he  was  appointed  assessor  of  internal 
revenue.  He  held  this  position  eight  years,  and 
then  resigned.  For  ten  years  Mr.  Ferguson  was 
supervisor  from  the  Seventh  ward  of  the  city. 
March  3,  1873,  he  was  elected  chairman  of  the 
county  board  to  succeed  Hon.  Robert  J.  Cross, 
who  had  died  February  15th.  ]\Ir.  Ferguson  re- 
tained this  position  until  1881.  In  1877  he  was 
elected  mayor  of  Rockford,  and  served  one  year. 
He  held  the  offices  of  city  engineer,  assessor, 
county  treasurer,  and  commissioner  of  the  county 
under  an  act  of  the  legislature  for  the  improve- 
ment of  Rock  river.  His  death  occurred  May 
14,   1882. 

Thomas  D.  Robertson  was  born  in  Edinburg, 
Scotland,  March  4,  1818.  He  came  to  the  United 
States  in  1838.  He  stopped  for  a  time  in  Chi- 
cago, and  arrived  in  Rockford  in  December  of 
the  same  year.  Mr.  Robertson  studied  law  in 
Rockford  and  at  Madison,  Wisconsin.  He  was 
admitted  to  the  bar,  and  was  a  prominent  prac- 
titioner for  some  years.  In  1848  Mr.  Robertson 
and  Tohn  A.  Holland  opened  the  first  banking 
house  in  Rockford  in  a  building  adjoining  the 
European  Hotel  site  on  West  State  street.  From 
that  time  he  gradually  abandoned  the  practice  of 
law,  and  devoted  his  attention  to  banking  and 
real  estate.  'Sir.  Robertson  was  a  leader  in  the 
movement  to  secure  the  extension  of  the  Galena 
&  Chicago  Union  railroad  to  Rockford.  He  had 
charge  of  the  collection  of  the  subscriptions  to 
the  capital  stock  in  Boone,  Winnebago  and  Ogle 
counties.     Mr.  Robertson  continuously  resided  in 


28 


PAST     AXI")     I'RKSEXT     OF     WIWEBAGO     COUXTV. 


Rockford  for  .■.ixiv-niu-  \i;ii>.  His  death  oc- 
curred l'\'hruary  4,  Iip2. 

Ira  W.  I'.akiT  arrived  at  Rock  river  ( )ctolKr 
(>.  1S3S.  on  Saturday,  at  siiiulown,  with  Iiis  fam- 
ily of  eii^ht.  from  a  ijraiidmotlier  of  seventy  to 
a  Ijabe  of  four. 

Hon.  I-M\vard  II.  I'.aker.  son  of  Deacon  Ira 
I  taker,  was  l)orn  in  I'errishurs.  X'ermont,  April 
3,  i8j8.  and  when  ten  years  of  age  he  came 
with  his  father  to  W'imiebajjo  county.  Mr. 
I'akcr  received  his  education  at  Knox  coUejje  and 
Illinois  colleije  at  Jacksonville.  He  stinlied  law 
and  was  adnntled  to  the  bar.  .\t  one  time  he 
was  in  partnership  with  his  father-in-law,  Jason 
Marsh.  L'jion  the  orijaniz-ition  of  the  Rockford 
&  Kenosha  railroad,  Mr.  I'.aker  was  chosen  sec- 
retary of  the  comiiany.  He  was  elected  mayor  of 
Rockford  in  1866,  and  served  one  year.  His 
death  occurred  January  2C1,  i8t>7. 

Henry  .\.  I'.aker.  another  son  of  Deacon  Baker, 
was  also  a  native  of  I'errishurtr.  N'ermont.  For 
many  years  he  was  ensra.ired  in  the  real  estate  and 
loan  business  in  Fast  Roi-kford.  Mr.  i'.aker  was 
for  some  time  |)resident  of  the  boird  of  education. 
He  died  in  the  west  a  few  months  asjo. 

Daviil  S.  Penfield  was  the  first  of  three  broth- 
ers to  settle  in  Rockford.  He  was  a  native  of 
I'ittsfield.  X'ermont.  and  was  born  in  1812.  Mr. 
I'entield  and  the  late  SlieiVherd  Leach  came  to 
Rockford  in  i8_^8  by  way  of  Dixon.  There  was 
then  no  stable  currency.  Larsje  numbers  of 
private  banks  furnished  a  currency  of  more  or 
less  value,  and  each  state  had  its  own  issues.  The 
exchanjie  of  money  in  travclintr  from  state  to 
state  was  therefore  attendeil  with  not  a  little  dif- 
ficidty,  and  c<insideral)le  risk.  The  unsettled 
coimtry  was  infested  with  bandits,  and  travelers 
were  never  sure,  when  seekintj  entertainment  for 
the  niyht,  whether  they  would  escape  the  snare 
of  the  fowler.  I'pon  their  arrival  in  Rockford. 
Mr.  Penfield  and  Mr.  lA-acli  ])nrchased  a  large 
tract  of  land  on  the  West  side.  They  were  also 
in  mercantile  business  on  tlic  site  of  322  Fast 
State  street,  and  there  employed  the  first  tinner  in 
Rockford.  Mr.  Penfield  formed  a  partnership 
with  his  brother  John  G.  in  the  real  estate  and 
loan  luisiness  :  and  sul)se(|Uently  became  a  mem- 
ber of  the  bankiu};^  firm  of  l'.ri}jp;s,  SpafFord  &■ 
i'enfield,  which  was  luerjjed  into  the  Third  Xa- 
tional  I'.ank.  Mr.  Penfield  died  May  20,  1873, 
at  the  ape  of  sixty-one  years.  Some  years  ajjo 
Mrs.  Penfieltl  !,'ave  the  site  to  the  Younjj  Men's 
Ciiristian  .Association  on  which  its  sjilendid  build- 
ini:  now  stands. 

Sheiihenl  Leach,  to  whom  reference  was  made 
in  the  prccediiifj  paraj^rajih,  was  an  extensive 
landowner,  and  amassed  a  larpe  estate.  Mr. 
Leach  was  g-ifted  with  keen  business  sagacitv, 
and  was  successfid  in  nearly  every  enterprise.  He 
had   an   extensive   ac<|uaintance   among   business 


men:  was  straightforward  in  his  dealings;  and 
withal,  was  a  man  who  jiossessed  many  (pialities 
worthv  of  emidation.  Mr.  Leach  died  Inlv  9. 
1SS5.  ' 

\Villard  Wheeler  came  from  St.  Thomas, 
L'|)per  Canada,  in  .'September.  1839.  He  was  the 
second  tinner  in  the  town.  .Mr.  Wheeler  was  a 
brother  of  the  late  Solomon  Wheeler.  He  built 
the  house  on  South  First  street  where  Mrs.  Julia 
.\.  Littlefield  resides.  To  Mr.  Wheeler  belonged 
the  honor  of  being  the  first  mayor  of  Rockford. 
He  died  .\i)ril  24,  1S76. 

The  Cunningham  brothers  were  among  the 
last  survivors  of  that  early  period.  Samuel  Cim- 
ningham  was  born  .\ugust  15,  1815.  in  Petcrboro. 
Hillsboro  county,  .Xcw  Hamjishire.  He  came  to 
this  county  in  the  .s])ring  of  1839.  His  active  life 
was  devoted  to  agricidture.  He  served  one  term 
as  county  commissioner.  He  died  September  2S:. 
1902.  His  brother.  William  Cunningham,  came 
to  Rockford  in  the  sjiring  of  1838.  He  spent 
nuich  of  the  intervening  time  on  the  Pacific  coast, 
but  later  lived  a  retired  life  in  Rockford.  He 
died  January  7.  1903.  The  writer  was  imlebted 
to  these  brothers  for  valuable  historical  infor- 
mation. Another  brother,  I'.enjamin  l-'ranklin 
Cunningham,  preceded  Samuel  to  Rockford  in 
the  spring  of  1831).  He  ownecl  a  beautiful  home 
below  the  city,  on  a  rise  of  ground  which  com- 
mands an  extended  northern  an<l  southern  view 
of  the  river.  He  died  June  20,  i()oo.  A  fourth 
brother,  Lsaac  Xewton  Cimningham,  previously 
noted,  came  to  Rockford  at  an  earlier  date. 

Joel  P>.  Potter  was  born  in  I'airfield  county, 
Connecticut,  in  1810.  I'rom  there  the  family  re- 
moved to  ( )rleans  county,  Xew  York.  He  re- 
ceived a  collegiate  education  and  iirejiared  him- 
self for  the  Presbyterian  luinistrv.  His  health 
failed,  and  he  never  resumed  this  calling.  In 
1839  he  came  to  this  county,  where  his  brothers 
Hemian  P..  and  Flcazer  had  jireceded  him.  In 
the  same  year  Mr.  Potter  built  the  house  now 
owned  by  Judge  Morrison.  He  carried  on  a 
farm  for  some  years,  and  was  subse<|uently  en- 
gaged in  the  <lrug  business  on  Fast  .State  street. 
He  conducted  the  store  alone  for  a  time,  and  later 
with  his  son-in-law,  J.  1'.  Harding,  as  a  partner. 
untU  the  death  of  Mr.  Harding,  in  18^17.  when 
Mr.  Potter  retired  from  business.  He  died  Xo- 
vember  30,   1880. 

Tlie  llerrick  family  came  from  eastern  Mas- 
sachusetts in  1838-31).  I^lijah  L.  llerrick.  Sr., 
and  three  .sons,  h'phraim.  I^'lijah  I...  Jr..  and 
William,  arrived  in  Rockford  in  1838:  and  the 
following  year  there  came  three  sons.  George, 
Fdward,  and  Samuel,  and  four  daughters, 
Phoebe,  Sarah,  Martha,  ami  Hannah.  .About 
1841)  the  father  of  the  family  built  a  cobble-stone 
house  on  what  is  now  F.ighteenth  avenue. 

v..    L.    llerrick   was  born   :it    .\ndover.    Massa- 


PAST  AND  PRESEXT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


29 


chusetts,  September  30.  1820.  Mrs.  Herrick, 
previous  to  lier  marriage,  wasr  a  teacher  in  Rock- 
ford  seminary.  She  came  in  September,  1852, 
and  taught  three  years. 

The  three  Spafford  brothers  came  to  Rockford 
in  1839,  in  company  with  their  brother-in-law, 
Jason  Marsh.  Their  father  was  Dr.  John  Spaf- 
ford. The  eldest  son,  Charles  H.  Spafford,  was 
born  in  Jefferson  county.  New  York,  January  6, 
1819.  He  was  educated  at  Castleton,  \'ermont. 
He  had  chosen  the  profession  of  the  law,  but  his 
decision  to  come  west  changed  his  plans  in  life. 
Mr.  Spafford  performed  a  conspicuous  part  in 
the  development  of  the  city.  He  held  the  offices 
of  postmaster,  circuit  clerk,  and  recorder.  He 
was  president  of  the  Kenosha  &  Rockford  Rail- 
road Company.  Mr.  Spafford,  in  company  with 
his  brother  John,  and  John  Hall,  built  Aletro- 
politan  Hall  block.  The  stores  and  offices  were 
owned  separately  and  the  hall  was  held  in  com- 
mon. Mr.  Spafford  also,  with  others,  built  the 
block  now  known  as  the  Chick  House.  Mr.  Spaf- 
ford died  in  September,  1892,  at  the  age  of 
seventy-three  years.  Mrs.  Spaft'ord  died  July  19, 
1901. 

Amos  Catlin  Spafford  was  born  September  14, 
1824,  in  Adams,  Jefferson  county.  New  York. 
After  he  came  west  he  followed  farming  in  this 
county  until  1848.  About  1854  he  became  a  mem- 
ber of  the  banking  firm  of  Briggs,  Spafford  & 
Penfield.  Upon  the  organization  of  the  Third 
National  Bank  in  1865,  Mr.  Spafford  became  its 
president,  and  held  this  position  for  thirty-three 
years,  until  his  death.  In  1876  he  was  one  of  the 
state  commissioners  at  the  centennial  exposition. 
Mr.  Spafford  died  suddenly  at  Adams,  New 
York,  while  on  a  vacation,  August  22,  1897. 
Mrs.  Spafford  died  May  22,  1898. 

John  Spafford  was  born  November  26,  1821. 
During  his  long  life  in  Rockford  he  was  engaged 
successively  in  farming,  grocery,  and  grain  and 
limiber  trade.  In  1856  he  became  the  general 
agent  of  the  Rockford  &  Kenosha  Railroad  Com- 
pany. Until  within  two  years  of  his  death,  Mr. 
Spaft'ord  was  president  of  the  Rockford  Wire 
Works  Company  and  the  Rockford  Suspender 
Company ;  he  was  also  interested  in  manufactur- 
ing a  lubricating  oil,  and  in  a  planing-mill.  Mr. 
Spafford  died  September  5,  1897. 

Phineas  Howes  was  a  native  of  Putnam  county. 
New  York,  and  was  born  September  25,  181 7. 
He  came  to  Rockford  in  1839.  He  was  a  car- 
penter and  joiner,  and  followed  this  trade  for 
many  years.  He  purchased  a  tract  of  land  in 
Cherry  Valley  township.  For  about  fifteen  years 
he  was  a  partner  with  John  Lake  in  the  lumber 
trade.  By  strict  attention  to  business,  Mr.  Howes 
accumulated  quite  a  large  estate.  His  death  oc- 
curred October  11,  1894. 

William    Worthington    was    born    at    Enfield, 


Connecticut,  July  5,  1813.  He  came  to  Rockford 
in  the  spring  of  1838.  About  1840  he  built  a 
brick  blacksmith's  shop  on  the  southwest  corner 
of  State  and  First  streets,  where  the  Crotty  block 
now  stands.  This  shop  was  eight  or  ten  feet  be- 
low the  present  grade.  Later  Mr.  Worthington 
built  a  wa.gon  shop  on  the  same  lot,  about  the 
same  size,  of  wood,  one  story.  This  was  the  first 
wagon  shop  on  the  East  side.  There  were  then 
no  other  buildings  on  those  corners.  Mr.  Worth- 
ington was  the  next  blacksmith  on  the  East  side, 
after  \\^illiam  Penfield.  and  was  probably  the 
fourth  in  the  village.  About  1842  Air.  Worth- 
ington formed  a  partnership  with  Hosea  D. 
Searles,  and  opened  a  drug  store.  This  was  the 
founding  of  the  business  now  carried  on  by 
Worthington  &  Slade. 

Laomi  Peake,  Sr.,  a  native  of  Herkimer  county, 
New  York,  emigrated  from  St.  Thomas,  Upper 
Canada,  to  Rockford,  in  September,  1839.  He 
was  one  of  the  few  pioneers  who  brought  ready 
capital.  He  came  with  about  five  thousand  dol- 
lars in  money,  which  was  a  princely  sum  for  that 
time.  Mr.  Peake  was  the  first  person  who  made 
a  harness  in  Rockford,  although  a  man  preceded 
him  who  did  repairing.  Mr.  Peake  purchased  the 
northeast  corner  lot  on  First  and  State  streets, 
and  erected  a  brick  building,  twenty-two  by  thirty- 
five  feet,  with  two  sto-ries  and  a  basement,  at  a 
cost  of  fifteen  hundred  dollars.  The  corner  of 
this  lot  is  now  occupied  by  J.  H.  Keeling's  drug 
store.  In  1852  he  completed  a  second  brick  block 
on  the  same  site,  and  finished  a  hall  on  the  third 
floor,  at  a  total  expense  of  about  eight  thousand 
dollars.  Peake"s  hall  was  the  first  public  hall  in 
Rockford.  This  block  was  destroyed  by  fire  in 
November,  1857,  and  the  side  and  rear  walls  were 
left  standing.  The  corner  store  was  occupied  at 
the  time  by  C.  A.  Huntington  and  Robert  Barnes, 
as  a  book  store,  at  a  rental  of  four  hundred  and 
fifty  dollars  per  year.  Elisha  A.  Kirk  and  An- 
thony Haines  purchased  the  property  in  the 
autumn  of  1858,  and  rebuilt  the  block  the  fol- 
lowing year.  In  1856  Mr.  Peake  built  the  sub- 
stantial stone  house  on  East  State  street  owned 
by  the  late  Anthony  Haines.  Mr.  Peake  died 
November  8,  1 89 1,  at  the  age  of  eighty- four  years. 

W'illiam  Hulin  was  a  native  of  Salem,  Mas- 
sachusetts. He  settled  in  Rockton  township  in 
1837  or  '38.  August  5,  1839,  he  was  chosen  a 
justice  of  the  peace,  and  from  that  time  he  was 
continually  in  the  public  service.  He  resigned 
from  the  office  of  clerk  of  the  county  court  a  few 
davs  before  his  death,  which  occurred  December 
10.  1869. 

Daniel  Barnum  was  a  native  of  New  York, 
born  in  1778.  In  1838  Mr.  Barnum,  with  his 
wife  and  six  children,  came  to  Winnebago  county, 
and  purchased  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of 
land  in  Cherry  Valley  township.     Mr.   Barnum 


30 


PAST     AXD    PRESENT    OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


removed  to  Rock  ford  and  spent  his  last  days  in 
retirement.  He  died  November  8,  1870,  at  the 
ape  of  ninety-two  years. 

Harris  P>arnnm.  son  of  Daniel  Barnum.  was 
born  in  Danbury,  Connecticut,  September  8,  1819. 
He  came  with  his  father  to  Rockford  in  1838. 
His  early  manhood  was  spent  on  his  father's  farm. 
In  1 866  he  eiifjaged  in  the  shoe  business  in  Rock- 
ford  with  the  late  Daniel  Miller,  but  soon  sold 
his  interest.  In  1874  Mr.  P>arnum  was  one  of 
tne  organizers  of  the  I'orest  City  Insurance  Com- 
pany, of  which  he  served  as  treasurer  until  in- 
capacitated by  illness.  Mr.  P.anunn  held  the 
offices  of  alderman  and  suiiervisor.  He  died 
February  26,   i8(/),  in  his  eii,dnieth  year. 

Hon.  Horace  Miller  was  a  native  of  P>erkshire 
county,  Massachusetts,  and  was  born  in  1798.  lie 
came  to  this  county  m  1839,  and  settled  on  a  large 
tract  of  land  near  the  mouth  of  the  Kishwaukce 
river,  which  in  an  early  day  was  known  as  the 
Terrace  farm.  At  one  time  he  owned  twelve 
hundred  and  fifty  acres.  I'-rom  1850  to  1852  Mr. 
Miller  rei)resented  this  county  in  the  state  legis- 
lature. He  resided  on  his  farm  until  about  1861. 
when  lie  came  to  Rockford  and  lived  a  retired 
life  until  his  death,  .August  5,  1864. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jolm  Benjamin  came  from 
Canada  in  1839,  and  settled  in  Guilford  town- 
ship. Mr.  Benjamin's  steii-daughtcr,  Mrs.  Sarah 
.\.  Cook,  who  still  resides  in  East  Rockford,  has 
the  ilistinction  of  being  the  first  matron  of  Rock- 
ford seminary.  She  served  in  this  capacity  from 
1849  to  1852.  The  students  were  served  with 
meals  in  a  frame  structure  directly  opjjosite  the 
first  seminary  building,  on  the  east  side  of  North 
F'irst  street. 

.\31inng  the  other  ])ioneers  of  1838  were  :  Alfred 
P.  Mather.  William  Hamilton.  Levi  Monroe,  and 
Richard  .Marsh.  In  1839  there  came  Courtland 
Mandeville,  Frederick  Charlie,  Thaddeus  Davis, 
Sr.,  Stephen  Crilley,  D.  Bierer.  Chester  Hitch- 
cock, John  I5ull.  M.  Hudson.  Others  who  came 
previous  to  1840  were:  Sylvester  Scott,  James 
Gilbert,  .\rtcmas  Hitchcock,  John  \V.  Dyer, 
Samuel  C.  Fuller,  Newton  Crawford,  Jonathan 
Hitchcock,  Dr.  D.  Cioodrich.  Ilotlis  II.  Holmes. 
Stephen  Gilbert,  and  Bela  .Shaw.  Judge  Shaw 
died  suddenly  May  31,  1865.  Five  brothers. 
Thomas,  William,  John,  Robert  and  Benjamin 
(iarrett,  with  their  parents,  settled  in  Guilford 
township.  Thomas  died  January  20,  1900.  He 
was  a  Manxman,  born  on  the  Isle  of  ^Ian,  Feb- 
ruary II,  1827. 

TRI.M^    OF    THE    PIONEERS. 

One  of  the  greatest  privations  of  the  early 
settlers  was  the  scarcity  of  provisions,  which  at 
that  time  were  obtained  from  the  older  settle- 
ments in  the  southern  portion  of  the  state.     Tlie 


l)ioncers  possessed  limitetl  means,  and  few  were 
individually  able  to  bear  the  expense  of  a  journey 
of  such  distance.  Several  neighbors  would  unite 
their  small  sums,  and  send  one  of  their  number 
for  supplies.  The  difficulties  of  travel  were 
great ;  there  were  rivers  to  cross,  either  forded  or 
swam ;  streams  and  sloughs  to  be  waded  ;  muddy 
roads  and  ponderous  wagons.  Under  these  cir- 
cumstances, the  time  of  the  messenger's  return 
was  uncertain.  Later,  when  a  trade  in  provisions 
had  been  established,  the  .same  obstacles  kept  them 
at  almost  fabulous  prices,  and  the  settlers  w"ere 
sometimes  reduced  to  the  verge  of  absolute  desti- 
tution. I'lour  sold  from  sixteen  to  twenty  dol- 
lars per  barrel,  and  on  one  occasion  Thomas  Lake 
purchased  three  barrels  at  twenty-two  dollars 
each.  Pork  was  thirty  dollars  per  barrel ;  wdieat 
sold  from  three  to  four  dollars  per  bushel ;  New 
Orleans  sugar  twenty-five  cents  per  pound :  and 
other  provisions  in  pro])ortion.  This  condition 
rendered  it  ini|iossible  for  the  great  majority  of 
the  settlers,  with  their  scanty  means,  to  scarcely 
procure  the  necessities  for  their  support.  For  six 
weeks  in  the  winter  of  1837-38  there  was  a  to- 
bacco famine,  wliich  was  a  terrible  privation  to 
the  slaves  of  the  filthy  weed.  "Judge"  E.  S. 
Blackstone  said  the  people  in  the  early  forties 
were  too  poor  to  cast  a  shadow.  Mr.  Thurston 
ventures  the  assertion  that  in  1841-42  there  were 
not  twenty  fanners  in  the  county  who  possessed 
a  suit  of  clothes  suita1)le  to  wear  at  church  or  at 
court,  which  they  had  purchased  with  the  fruits 
of  their  labor  on  their  farms.  Some  who  had 
passed  the  prime  of  life  became  discouraged  and 
returned  to  their  homes  in  the  east  to  die.  Barter 
was  practiced  even  in  i)ayment  for  performing 
the  marriage  ceremony.  Abraham  I.  Enoch,  a 
justice  of  the  peace,  once  took  a  bushel  of  beans 
as  his  fee.  Joel  B.  Potter,  a  clergyman,  was  com- 
pensated for  two  ceremonies  in  wheat,  and  one 
day's  breaking.  Ephraim  Stunner  swam  Peca- 
tonica  river  twice  one  cold  night  to  perform  the 
rite  and  received  fifty  cents. 

Had  it  not  been  for  a  beneficent  Providence, 
who  stocked  the  woods  and  prairies  with  game 
and  the  rivers  with  fish,  many  would  have  suf- 
fered for  the  necessities  of  the  barest  subsistence. 
As  late  as  1841  the  scarcity  of  fruit  was  a  great 
trial.  There  was  little,  and  often  none,  not  even 
canned  fruit.  There  were  dried  apples,  and  the 
housewives  made  "mince-pies"  of  them.  Some- 
times, in  case  of  sickness,  the  ways  and  means 
looked  rather  dark,  and  the  mother  and  her  whole 
familv  might  be  involved.  In  such  cases  none 
filled  a  more  important  place  than  Miss  Betsy 
Weldon.  whom  a  few  will  remember.  Strong  and 
well  herself,  she  could  fill  a  place  of  nurse,  house- 
keeper, dressmaker,  milliner,  and  general  repairer 
of  clothing.  She  was  ever  ready  to  respond  to 
cases  of  need. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WTXXEBAGO     COUNTY. 


31 


ROCKFORD    HOUSES    IN    1838 LATER    BUILDINGS 

H.    H.    SILSBY. 

In  April,  1838,  there  were  only  fonr  houses 
north  of  State  street,  in  West  Rockford ;  the 
ferry  house  on  the  site  of  the  Register-Gazette 
building ;  Abriam  Morgan's  log  house,  on  or  very 
near  the  site  of  the  Horsman  residence,  which 
was  recently  torn  down :  a  log  cabin  on  the  bank 
of  the  river,  about  one  hundred  and  thirty  rods 
above  State,  occupied  by  Rev.  John  ]\Iorrill.  and 
D.  A.  Spaulding,  the  government  surveyor ;  a 
board  and  plank  house  near  the  site  of  Mrs.  A. 
D.  Forbes'  residence,  occupied  by  John  and 
Calvin  Haskell,  nephews  of  Dr.  George  Haskell. 
South  of  State  street  there  were  quite  a  number 
of  cabins.  Nathaniel  Loomis  and  his  son,  Henry 
W.  Loomis.  lived  in  a  log  house  near  the  south- 
east corner  of  State  and  Main  streets  :  and  much 
of  the  valuable  property  in  this  block  still  belongs 
to  the  Loomis  estate.  On  the  west  side  of  Main, 
D.  D.  Ailing  had  an  unfinished  house.  Directly 
north  was  a  two-story  frame  house  which  re- 
mained unfinished  for  several  years.  On  the  same 
side,  opposite  the  government  building,  still 
stands  the  residence  of  George  W.  Brinckerhoflf. 
On  the  corner  north  of  the  Chicago  &  Northwest- 
ern depot.  Nathaniel  Wilder  had  a  house  of  one 
and  a  half  story.  On  the  east  side  of  Main,  op- 
posite the  depot,  Wyman  &  Houghton  had  a  story- 
and-a-half  building  used  as  a  bakery  and  boarding- 
house.  South  of  the  C,  B.  &  O.  depot,  on  the 
west  side  of  Main,  James  Mitchell  had  a  small 
house.  On  the  same  side  of  the  street,  near  the 
bank  of  the  creek,  stood  Mr.  Kent's  house  and 
sawmill.  There  was  a  log  hut  eight  or  ten  rods 
below  the  mill  that  had  been  used  as  a  black- 
smith's shop,  and  a  store  near  the  river.  \\'il- 
liam  E.  Dunbar  had  lived  in  a  log  cabin  about 
one  hundred  yards  south  of  the  creek,  and  twelve 
to  fifteen  rods  east  of  Main  street.  Sanford  & 
Piatt's  store  was  on  the  river  bank,  south  of 
State.  Benjamin  Kilburn  had  a  frame  house  on 
the  site  of  the  Hotel  Nelson.  There  was  a  total 
of  eighteen  buildings  in  the  village  on  the  west 
side  of  the  river,  beside  the  cabin  built  by  I\Ir. 
Blake  in  the  grove  to  the  west. 

The  East  side  was  somewhat  larger.  The 
Rockford  House  was  for  some  time  the  only 
hotel  between  Belvidere  and  Freeport.  On  the 
southwest  corner  of  State  and  Madison  streets 
stood  Bundy  &  Goodhue's  store.  Directly  south 
was  a  building  erected  by  Mr.  Haight.  The  first 
floor  was  the  postoffice.  and  the  second  was  oc- 
cupied by  Tinker  &  Johnson  as  a  tailor  shop.  On 
the  northwest  corner  of  ]\Iadison  and  Walnut  was 
a  ball  alley  owned  by  Charles  Oliver.  On  the 
southeast  corner  of  State  and  Madison  was  Pot- 
ter &  Preston's  store.  They  succeeded  Bundy  & 
Goodhue  on  the  opposite  corner,  where  they  re- 


mained until  the  death  of  ]\Ir.  Preston,  when  Mr. 
Potter  continued  the  business  alone  for  a  time. 
East  of  Potter  &  Preston's  first  store  was  the 
foundation  of  the  Washington  House.  On  the 
northeast  corner  of  State  and  Main  was  Daniel 
S.  Haight's  unfinished  frame  house.  On  East 
State  street  Mr.  Haight  was  putting  up  a  one- 
story  building  for  a  postoffice.  which  a  few  A-ears 
later  was  occupied  by  Worthington  &  Searles  as 
the  second  drug  store  in  the  village.  East  of 
the  postoffice  site,  on  the  alley,  was  'Sir.  Haight's 
first  log  house,  occupied  by  John  !\Iiller  as  a 
boarding  house.  East  of  the  alley,  on  State,  was 
.Samuel  Little's  saloon.  C)n  North  First  street 
was  a  story-and-a-half  house  occupied  by 
Samuel  Corey,  a  brother-in-law  of  Mr.  Haight. 
North  of  Mr.  Haight's  frame  house  was  a  story- 
and-a-half  house  owned  by  William  Hamilton ; 
and  at  the  northeast  corner  of  Madison  and 
Alarket  was  William  Penfield's  blacksmith's  shop. 
Between  the  "swell-front''  and  the  brick  house 
south  of  South  Second  street  owned  by  Samuel 
I.  Church,  stood  a  house  with  a  story  and  a  half 
owned  by  Dr.  David  Goodrich.  In  the  rear  of 
this,  on  the  alley,  was  a  log  structure  occupied  as 
a  schoolhouse  about  1837-38.  On  the  site  of  the 
street  car  barns  on  Kishwaukee  street,  was  Anson 
Barnum's  double  log  house.  At  the  southeast 
corner  of  Second  and  Walnut  was  John  Phelps' 
house,  afterward  owned  by  William  P.  Dennis. 
C)n  the  west  side  of  First  street,  opposite  the  city 
hall,  was  John  C.  Kemble's  house ;  and  on  the 
river  bank,  north  of  Walnut,  James  Clark  was 
building  a  store  in  which  he  kept  a  general  stock. 
The  "stage  barn"  built  for  Mr.  Haight  in  1836 
by  Thomas  Lake  and  Sidney  Twogood,  stood 
near  the  intersection  of  State  and  Third  streets. 
John  X'ance's  log  structure,  built  for  a  store, 
was  on  South  First  street  nearly  opposite  the 
city  hall.  There  was  a  log  house  about  ten  rods 
southeast  of  the  "stage  bam,"  occupied  b)'  a  Mr. 
Kingsle}-,  who  came  from  Belvidere  to  work  for 
Mr.  Haight  on  the  Rockford  House.  James  Bos- 
well's  cabin  was  near  the  Peacock  estate.  Jacob 
Posson's  cabin  was  in  the  vicinity  of  block 
twenty-one.  Gregory  &  Penfield's  addition. 
These,  with  the  East  side  ferry  house,  and  a  small 
log  hut  used  for  a  stable,  were  all  the  buildings 
within  half  a  mile  of  the  intersection  of  State  and 
Madison  streets,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  in 
April,  1838.  Mr.  Haight  erected  at  least  seven 
buildings  on  the  East  side,  beside  three  barns, 
and  one-half  of  the  Rockford  House.  In  1839-40 
he  built  the  large  two-story  brick  house,  east  of 
Longwood  street,  which  is  still  standing.  Mr. 
Haight  claimed  that  one  hundred  thousand  brick 
were  used  in  its  construction. 

In  the  spring  and  summer  of  1838  Harvey  H. 
Silsby,  Mowry  Brown,  William  Hull  and  Wil- 
liam Harvev  built  the  house  now  standing  north 


I'AST     AXD     l'Ri:SF.XT     OF     WIXXEBAGO     COL■X•l•^■. 


of  Mrs.  W.  A.  Uickcrman's  rcsitlcncc.  for  Dr. 
Haskell,  who  afterward  sold  it  to  John  F.dwards. 

After  finishins  Dr.  Haskell's  hrick  block.  Mr. 
Silshy  and  .\h>wr_v  llrown  built  a  house  for  G. 
A.  Sanford  near  tlie  center  of  the  block,  south 
of  Porter's  druji  store,  on  Main  street.  This 
house  later  stood  for  many  years  near  the  Chest- 
nut street  bridjjc.  lienjaniin  Kilburn  built  his 
house  near  the  Trask  brid<je  road  that  season. 
The  rear  r>f  the  I'.eattie  house  was  built  the  same 
summer. 

Mr.  Silsby  rendered  ,i;reat  service  to  the  writer 
in  locating^  these  buildin,i,'s  of  the  early  days.  His 
trade,  that  of  contractor  and  builder,  doubtless 
fi.xed  the  dates  of  their  erection  in  his  mind.  X'o 
other  individual  furnished  a  more  valuable  fund 
of  information  in  the  preparation  of  this  work. 
He  knew  the  villasje  from  the  besinnin.s:.  and  he 
retained  his  excellent  memory  unim]iaired  to 
the  last.  Mr.  Silsby  died  suddenly  April  7.  1899, 
in  Kansas,  after  havin.i^  sjjent  the  winter  with  his 
dauf^hter  in  Rock  ford.  Me  was  ei,!;hty-one  years 
of  afjc.  Mr.  Silsby  was  bom  in  .\cworth,  Sul- 
livan county,  Xew  Hampshire,  Xovember  i,  181 7. 
He  went  in  1837  to  Upper  Alton,  where  he  re- 
mained until  he  came  to  Rockford  the  following 
year.  .Vfter  working  at  his  trade  for  some  years, 
he  embarked   in  mercantile  business. 

Kir<ST  B.\PTIST  CHURCH. 

The  First  Baptist  church  is  the  second  or- 
ganization of  that  faith  planted  in  northern 
Illinois  outside  of  Chicago.  It  was  organized 
December  22.  1838,  at  the  home  of  Dr.  George 
Haskell,  and  was  the  third  religious  organiza- 
tion founded  in  Rockford.  There  were  sixteen 
charter  niemlx-rs.  as  follows :  James  and  Martha 
Jackson,  .\biram  Morgan,  Fierce  and  Evelina 
Wood,  John  and  Susan  Emerson.  Win.  B.  Brain- 
ard.  Ransom  and  Lucy  Knajip,  George  and 
Eunice  Haskell,  Mowry  and  Lucy  Brown,  Isaiah 
Lvon.  an<l  Caleb  Blood.  Services  were  held  in 
a  hall  on  the  second  floor  of  Dr.  Haskell's  brick 
block,  which  stood  rm  the  site  of  the  .-\shton  block. 
The  congregation  de()eniled  u])on  supplies  until 
May,  1 84 1,  when  Rev.  Solomon  Knapp  became 
the  first  resident  pastor.  The  first  house  of 
worship  was  built  in  1841,  on  the  corner  now 
occupied  by  the  .American  Insurance  building, 
on  Xorth  Main  street. 

The  second  pastor  was  Rev.  Warren  F.  Par- 
rish,  a  convert  from  Mormonism  to  the  Baptist 
faith.  He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  O.  H.  Head 
and  Rev.  Luther  Stone,  and  by  Prof.  Whitman, 
of  IV'lvidere,  as  a  stated  supply. 

In  the  autumn  of  1848  Elder  Jacob  Knapp 
removed  from  the  east,  and  November  i8th  he 
united  with  the  Fir.st  church  by  letter.  The 
church  was  then  without  a  pastor,  and  arrange- 


ments were  soon  made  with  Elder  Knapi)  lor 
holding  revival  meetings.  The  little  frame  build- 
ing was  too  small,  and  the  church  secured  the 
use  of  the  court  house,  where  it  continued  to 
hold  services  until  the  new  structure  was  com- 
pleted. Elder  Knajip  continued  his  labors  until 
June,  1849.  .Vt  the  amnial  session  of  the  Rock 
River  Association,  held  that  mouth,  the  church 
reported  sixty-two  additions  by  baptism  and 
seventeen  by  letter.  These  accessions  increased 
the  membership  to  one  hundred  and  sixty. 

Elder  Knap])  was  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
men  of  his  time.  He  was  born  in  ( )tsego  county, 
Xew  York.  December  7,  I7<;9.  He  was  gradu- 
ated at  Hamilton  Theological  seminary  in  June, 
1825.  and  ordained  in  the  following  August  at 
.Springfield,  Xew  York.  After  serving  the 
church  at  Springfield  for  five  years,  and  the 
church  at  Watertown  for  three  years,  he  began 
his  career  as  an  evangelist.  For  fifteen  years  his 
home  was  at  Hamilton.  Xew  York,  and  for 
twenty-five  years  at   Rockford. 

Elder  Kna])p  claimed  to  have  ])rcache(l  about 
sixteen  thousand  sermons,  baptized  four  thou- 
sand candidates,  and  was  the  means  of  making 
one  hundred  thousand  converts  by  his  revival 
ministry,  of  whom  two  hundred  became  ministers 
of  the  gospel.  Elder  Knapp's  mind  was  char- 
acterized by  strong  logical  tendencies,  and  his 
sermons  abounded  in  homely  illustrations,  apt 
quotations  from  the  Bible,  and  a  good  knowledge 
of  human  nature.  In  stature  l-"lder  Knapp  was 
short,  squarely  and  stoutly  built,  his  voice  was 
deeply  sepulchral,  and  his  manner  self-possessed. 
He  was  fertile  in  expedients  and  possessed  an  in- 
domitable will.  He  was  quick  at  repartee,  in 
which  he  was  a  consummate  master. 

To  this  day  the  widest  differences  of  opinion 
])revailed  as  to  the  sincerity  and  true  Christian 
character  of  Elder  Knapp.  Many  of  his  fellow 
citizens  believed  his  daily  life  was  quite  incon- 
sistent with  the  nigher  ideals  which  he  taught 
from  the  jjulpil :  while  others  considered  him  the 
very  incarnation  of  godly  zeal ;  as  a  veritable  John 
the  Baptist,  warning  the  i)eo])le  in  terms  of  awful 
grandeiu-  to  flee  from  the  wrath  to  come.  Presi- 
dent Knott,  of  I'nion  college,  testified:  "Elder 
Knapp  is  uncqualed  among  iminspired  men."  Dr. 
Thomas  Armitage,  in  his  History  of  the  P>aptists, 
says :  "The  writer  heard  him  preach  many  times, 
and  judged  him,  as  he  is  apt  to  judge  men,  more 
bv  his  prayers  than  his  sermons,  for  he  was  a 
man  of  much  prayer.  His  ai)i)earance  in  the 
pulpit  was  very  striking,  his  face  pale,  his  skin 
dark,  his  mouth  wide,  with  a  singular  cast  in 
one  eve  bordering  on  a  squint :  he  was  full  of 
native  wit,  almost  gestureless,  and  vehement  in 
denunciation,  yet  so  cool  in  his  deliberation  that 
with  the  greatest  ease  he  gave  every  trying  cir- 
cumstance its  appropriate  but  unexpected  turn," 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


33 


Elder  Knapp  died  March  3,  1874,  on  his  farm 
north  of  Rockford,  and  was  buried  in  the  West 
Side  cemetery,  with  his  feet  toward  the  west,  in 
accordance  with  his  strange  request.  Elder 
Knapp's   autobiography  was   published   in    1868. 

Rev.  Ichabod  Clark  succeeded  Elder  Knapp. 
During  his  pastorate,  in  1850,  the  congregation 
built  the  present  stone  church  on  North  Church 
street,  which  is  now  the  oldest  house  of  worship 
in  Rockford. 

Dr.  Clark  was  succeeded  by  Dr.  Thomas  Kerr, 
who  began  his  labors  June  i,  i860.  His  first 
pastorate  closed  November  i,  1866,  when  he  was 
called  to  Hannibal,  Mo.  After  a  brief  pastorate 
by  Rev.  James  Lick,  Dr.  Kerr  was  recalled  to 
his  old  charge,  and  in  1869  he  began  his  second 
pastorate.  In  1870  Dr.  Kerr  began  to  preach  a 
more  liberal  faith.  An  ecclesiastical  council  de- 
posed him  from  the  Baptist  ministry,  and  the 
church  excluded  him.  with  forty-eight  sym- 
pathizers, from  its  membership.  Dr.  Kerr  was 
succeeded  in  the  pastorate  by  Revs.  John  S. 
Mabie,  L.  Anderson,  W.  A.  Stanton.  C.  H.  Mos- 
crip,  Theo.  G.  Soares,  C.  W.  Barber,  and  W. 
C.  Keirstead.  The  membership  reported  to  the 
association  in  June.  1905,  was  287.  The  value  of 
the  church  property  is  $18,000. 

THE    VILLAGE   INCORPOR.VTED. 

Early  in  1839  the  little  village  aspired  to  the 
dignity  of  an  incorporated  town.  The  general 
law  of  1831  provided  that  "whenever  the  white 
males  over  the  age  of  twenty-one  years,  being 
residents  of  any  town  in  this  state,  containing  not 
less  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  inhabitants,  shall 
wish  to  become  incorporated  for  the  better  regu- 
lation of  their  internal  police,"  it  should  be  law- 
ful for  them  to  do  so.  The  ambition  of  the  vil- 
lage was  sustained  by  the  required  population. 

A  meeting  of  the  citizens  of  Rockford  was 
held,  pursuant  to  public  notice,  at  the  Rockford 
House.  April  i.  1839.  It  was  resolved  that  the 
two  villages  of  Rockford,  east  and  west  sides  of 
Rock  river,  be  incorporated  into  one  town.  Com- 
mittees were  appointed  to  ascertain  the  number 
of  inhabitants  within  the  prescribed  boundaries  of 
Rockford ;  to  draft  an  act  of  incorporation  for 
the  town ;  and  to  confer  with  Mr.  Brinckerhoff 
concerning  free  ferriage  for  the  citizens  of  the 
county. 

An  adjourned  meeting  was  held  April  3d,  but 
no  business  was  transacted.  A  second  adjourned 
meeting  was  held  on  the  following  evening.  The 
committee  on  census  reported  that  the  number 
of  inhabitants  was  two  hundred  and  thirty-five. 
The  committee  appointed  to  confer  with  Mr. 
Brinckerhoff  made  a  report  to  the  effect  that  he 
would  furnish  free  ferriage  to  the  citizens  of  the 
county  on  condition  that  the  trustees  of  the  town 


would  remunerate  him,  at  the  close  of  each  year, 
with  such  sum  as  a  committee  of  three  should 
determine,  after  ascertaining  the  receipts  and  ex- 
penses of  the  ferriage.  One  member  of  the  com- 
mittee was  to  be  chosen  by  the  trustees,  another 
by  Mr.  Brinckerhoff  and  these  two  were  to  ap- 
point a  third.  At  this  meeting,  by  a  two-thirds 
vote,  as  required  by  law,  the  town  was  incorpor- 
ated. An  election  for  five  trustees  was  lield 
April  loth.  There  were  chosen  Dr.  Goodhue, 
Daniel  S.  Haight,  Samuel  Little.  Ephraim  Wy- 
man  and  Isaiah  Lyon. 

The  statute  provided  that  the  boundaries  of  a 
town  incorporated  under  its  provisions  should 
not  exceed  one  mile  square.  The  trustees  re- 
stricted the  limits  as  thus  prescribed  bv  the  law. 
They  organized  by  the  election  of  Daniel  S. 
Haight.  president:  Anson  Barnum,  clerk;  John 
C.  Kemble,  attorney.  Isaiah  Lyon  was  elected 
collector  and  treasurer ;  Henry  Thurston,  asses- 
sor for  the  first  district :  John  Haskell  for  the 
second ;  Nathaniel  Wilder  for  the  third ;  S.  D. 
Preston  for  the  fourth. 

Rockford  continued  its  simple  municipal  life 
under  this  system  until  January,  1852.  These 
vears  were  quite  uneventful,  so  far  as  municipal 
affairs  were  concerned.  The  complete  records  of 
the  proceedings  of  the  board  of  trustees  for  those 
twelve  years  are  contained  in  a  single  small 
volume.  This  book  is  well  preserved  and  is  in 
the  office  of  the  city  clerk.  Routine  business  oc- 
cupied the  most  exclusive  attention  of  the  board ; 
and  frequently  less  than  a  page  is  required  to 
record  its  proceedings. 

E.\RLY  L.\ND  S.^LES. 

The  lands  in  Winnebago  county  did  not  come 
into  market  until  the  autumn  of  1839.  The  lands 
in  Rockford  and  Rockton  townships  were  not 
offered  for  sale  until  1843.  by  reason  of  the 
famous  "Polish  claims."  which  will  be  considered 
in  detail  in  subsequent  paragraphs.  The  land 
office  for  this  district  in  1839  was  at  Galena.  The 
opening  of  the  lands  to  sale  and  entry  in  that  year 
was  an  interesting  event  to  the  settlers  of  Win- 
nebago county.  Some  of  them  had  their  farms 
well  under  cultivation,  and  had  raised  a  sufficient 
surplus,  so  that  they  were  able  to  secure  their 
farms  when  the  sale  began.  The  uniform  gov- 
ernment price  for  land  was  ten  shillings  per  acre. 
Speculators  were  always  around  the  land  office 
on  days  of  sale,  waiting  for  the  first  chance  to 
make  a  claim.  A  common  interest  bound  the  set- 
tlers together,  and  they  usually  maintained  their 
rights  in  equity  against  the  sharp  practices  of  the 
land  sharks. 

Many  settlers,  however,  did  not  possess  ready 
money.  Stock  and  grain  had  become  plenty  by 
this  time,  but  thev  could  not  be  sold   for  cash. 


34 


PAST     ANT)     PRESENT    OF     WIXXEBACO    COUNTY. 


Money  at  one  time  cummaiuk'il  thirty  per  cent. 
Some  of  the  farmers  liatl  their  claims  bid  in  on 
sliares.  I^inds  wore  al.so  hid  in  hy  men  who  had 
money,  on  condition  that  tlieir  advances  sliould 
donl)le  in  three  years — tliirty-tliree  and  one- 
tliird  |)er  cent,  interest :  the  money  loaner  fur- 
nisheti  the  money,  and  gavv  a  bond  to  the  claim- 
ant to  redeem  at  the  expiration  of  three  years  if 
the  money  sliould  be  paid  on  or  before  that  dav. 
The  moncy-loaner  supposed  his  title  was  cjood,  as 
it  was  entered  in  his  own  name,  and  paid  for  in 
full  with  his  money.  It  was  decided  otherwise. 
however,  by  the  supreme  court,  which  treated  it 
as  a  mortgage.  There  was  nnich  litigation  on 
this  point. 

K(  >c  K  l-(  IUI>  CK.\I  KTERI  i;S. 

Four  sites  have  been  used  in  West  Rockford 
for  the  pur|)ose  of  a  cemetery,  besides  that  used 
by  the  Roman  Catholics.  The  first  Inirial  in  the 
village  of  Rock-ford  was  that  of  Henry  Harmon, 
who  was  drowned  at  the  ferry  in  Rock  river 
.\])ril  7,  iS.^7.  on  block  thirty-five  of  J.  \V. 
I.eavitt's  plat  of  the  original  town  of  West 
Rockford.  The  Commercial  Hotel,  South 
Church  street,  is  on  the  southeast  corner  of  this 
block.  The  second  interment  was  of  the  body  of 
Sarah  Kent,  a  daughter  of  (iernianicus  Kent, 
n]>iin  the  same  block,  in  1837.  These  were  fol- 
lowed by  the  l)urials  of  .\ddison  Phillips,  who 
accidentally  shot  himself  in  March.  1839,  and 
John  Ha.skell,  a  brother  of  Dr.  (ieorge  Haskell, 
also  in  that  year.  Mrs.  James  Mitchell  and  some 
others  were  buried  upon  block  thirty-five,  which 
was  the  only  place  ot  interment  on  the  west  side 
of  the  river  until  about  1840.  The  proprietors  of 
that  j)ortion  of  the  town  west  of  the  section  line 
<iividing  sections  twenty-two  and  twenty-three 
then  gave  to  the  citizens  of  West  Rockford  a  plat 
of  ground  for  cemetery  purposes,  corre.«])onding 
to  block  fifty-three  in  .Morgan  and  Horsman's 
addition  to  the  city  of  Rockford.  on  the  south 
side  of  Slate  street.  This  block  now  includes  the 
land  owned  by  the  late  Dr.  C.  H.  Richings.  .Mrs. 
.Montague,  wife  of  Richard  Montague,  was  the 
first  ])erson  buried  in  this  ground.  She  died 
February  17.  184J. 

I-'rom  that  time  this  ]ilat  of  ground  continued 
to  be  the  i)lace  of  burial  until  1844.  The  original 
proprietors  of  the  town,  by  an  agreement  with 
the  citizens,  exchanged  this  place  of  burial  for 
a  site  corres|)onding  to  what  would  have  been 
blocks  thirty-seven  and  forty-eight  of  the  original 
plat,  on  the  north  bank  of  Kent's  creek.  This 
tract  corresponds  witli  the  switch  yards,  round- 
house and  stock  yards  of  the  Chicago  &  North- 
western railroad.  The  bodies  were  removed  from 
the  cemetery  near  State  street  and  reburied  in  the 
new  grounds.  In  the  year  1844  the  citizens  after 
several   meetings,   organized   an   association   and 


in  I'"ebruary,  1845.  they  obtained  a  charter  in- 
cori)orating  the  Rockford  Cenieter\  .\ssociation. 
I'nder  this  charter  they  electeil  their  trusfecs  and 
other  otiicers.  and  kept  u))  the  organization  in 
accordance  with  all  the  ])rovisions  of  the  act.  The 
first  trustees  named  in  tliis  charter  were  John  W. 
Taylor.  Fphraim  Wyman,  Cyrus  F.  .Miller.  Rich- 
artl  .Montague  ami  IJenjamin  Kilburn. 

From  1844  to  1852  this  site  remained  the  place 
of  burial  for  the  Rockford  Cemetery  .Association. 
1  )uring  this  time  the  number  of  graves  had  in- 
creased to  about  one  lumdreil  and  seventy-five. 
The  bodies  that  had  been  buried  on  block  thirty- 
five  remained  there  until   1852. 

The  extension  of  the  Galena  &  Chicago  Union 
railroad  to  West  Rockford  again  made  it  neces- 
sary for  the  association  to  remove  its  cemetery, 
as  the  grounds  had  been  selected  by  the  railroad 
comjiany  as  the  site  of  its  de])ot.  .\  ])ortion  of 
this  tract  was  condemned  by  the  comjianv  for 
this  i)urpose.  The  association  thereupon  made 
arrangements  with  the  railroatl  company  for 
the  sale  of  the  entire  property,  except  seventy 
feet  fronting  on  Cedar  street.  The  company  paid 
the  association  one  thousand  and  nine  hundred 
dollars.  The  frontage  of  seventy  feet  on  Cedar 
street  was  sub-divided  into  twelve  lots,  and  sold 
to  different  jier.sons  for  three  thousand  eight 
hundred  and  twelve  dollars  and  twelve  cents. 

In  .\]iril,  1852,  the  trustees  took  measures  to 
l^rocure  a  new  charter  for  their  more  extended 
needs.  In  the  following  May  the  association 
purchased  of  Charles  Reed,  George  Ha'sTKcll  and 
.\athaniel  \\'ilder.  a  part  of  the  present  cemetery 
grounds.  This  tract  contained  thirty-three  acres, 
for  which  the  .Association  ])aid  twelve  hundred 
dollars.  On  the  29th  of  .May,  1852.  the  associ- 
ation made  a  contract  with  David  D.  .Vlling.  to 
remove  all  the  bodies  in  the  original  place  of 
burial  on  block  thirty-five  and  those  in  the  later 
cemetery. 

At  the  s|)ecial  session  of  the  legislature  in  June, 
1852.  the  association  obtained  a  new  act  of  in- 
cori)oration.  'i'he  sum  realized  from  the  sale  of 
its  former  iirojierty  left  a  good  margin  after  the 
later  ])urchase.  (Juite  extensive  improvements 
were  made  with  a  i)ortion  of  this  reserve.  This 
cemetery  is  a  beautiful  spot  in  summer,  well  kept, 
and  contains  many  splendid  monuments. 

In  February.  1880.  the  association  purchased 
seventeen  acres  of  D.  C.  Littlefield.  The  cemetery 
now  covers  fifty  acres,  the  purchase  price  of 
which  was  oidy  $2.()oo.  There  have  been  more 
than  five  th<iusanil  interments.  The  association 
has  an  invested  fund,  the  interest  of  which  is  ex- 
pended in  Ix^autifying  this  city  of  the  dead. 

The  Roman  Catholic  cemetery  is  also  located 
on  the  West  side. 

:\t  an  early  date  Daniel  .S.  Haight  appropri- 
ated an   acre  of  ground   for  a  cemetery  on  the 


PAST     -VXD     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


35 


East  side.  It  was  situated  on  the  east  side  of 
Longworth  street,  about  ten  rods  north  of  State. 
The  ground  was  open  prairie.  There  was  no 
shade  from  the  summer  sun,  and  the  wintr}- 
winds  intensified  its  desolation. 

An  act  approved  February  i8.  1847,  provided 
for  the  incorporation  of  the  Cedar  Bhtff  Ceme- 
tery Association.  E.  H.  Potter.  \\'inard  Wheeler, 
Bela  Show,  Selden  AI.  Church,  HoUis  H.  Holmes, 
and  Lucius  Clark  and  their  successors  were  made 
a  body  politic  and  corporate  for  the  purpose.  The 
association  was  not  fully  organized,  however, 
until  November  28,  185 1.  Twelve  acres  in  sec- 
tion twenty-three  were  purchased  from  Bela 
Shaw  for  four  hundred  dollars,  subject  to  the 
dower  of  Rebecca  Shaw.  The  tract  was  sur- 
veyed by  Duncan  Ferguson.  April  3,  1853.  It 
remained  the  only  burying  ground  on  the  East 
side  until  the  organization  of  the  Scandinavian 
Cemetery  Association,  which  is  near  Cedar  BluflF. 

THE    .SEVEN"    years'    WAR    ON'ER    THE    .SITE    OF    THE 
COUNTY   SEAT. 

The  attempt  in  1836  to  locate  the  county  seat 
had  proven  a  failure.  The  county  business  had 
been  transacted  in  the  meantime  in  various  places 
in  the  village.  The  proprietors  of  Winnebago 
did  not  consider  the  refusal  of  their  deed  of  ces- 
sion to  the  county,  noted  in  a  previous  paragraph, 
as  a  finality.  On  that  very  day  began  the  famous 
controversy  over  the  location  of  the  county  seat, 
which  was  continued  for  seven  years  with  great 
soirit  and  not  a  little  bitterness  on  all  sides.  The 
proprietors  of  Winnebago  had  expended  con- 
siderable money  in  their  town  plat,  and  they  were 
anxious  to  have  the  county  buildings  commenced 
at  once,  and  thus  settle  the  question.  On  the 
other  hand,  the  county  commissioners  opposed 
the  site  of  Winnebago,  and  placed  every  obstacle 
in  the  way  of  such  location.  A^arious  proposi- 
tions were  made  by  the  proprietors  during  this 
and  the  succeeding  year  to  induce  the  commis- 
sioners to  take  some  action  that  would  secure 
them  in  the  location  which  had  been  previously 
made.  All  these  overtures  were  either  refused 
or  evaded.  The  persistent  refusal  of  the  county 
commissioners  led  to  state  legislation. 

By  an  act  of  the  general  assembly,  approved 
Alarch  2,  1839.  the  question  was  submitted  to  a 
popular  vote.  It  was  made  the  duty  of  the  clerk 
of  the  county  commissioners'  court  to  give  notice 
of  an  election  to  be  held  on  the  first  Monday  in 
May,  1839.  The  law  provided  that  if  it  should 
appear  that  within  one  hundred  of  a  majority  of 
all  the  votes  cast  were  in  favor  of  the  town  of 
\Mnnebago.  that  town  should  remain  the  per- 
manent county  seat.  But  if  any  other  place,  after 
the  first  election,  should  receive  a  majority  there 
should  be  an  election  held  on  the  first  Mondav 


of  each  succeeding  month,  dropping  off  at  each 
election,  the  place  receiving  the  smallest  number 
of  votes,  until  some  one  place  should  receive  a 
majority  of  all  the  votes  polled. 

These  provisions  gave  \\'innebago  a  decided 
advantage,  but  even  then  the  town  was  unable 
to  win  the  prize.  At  the  election  six  aspirants 
received  votes,  as  follows:  Rockford,  three  hun- 
dred and  twenty  ;  Winnebago,  seventy-five  ;  Ros- 
coe,  two :  Willow  Creek,  five :  Pecatonica,  one : 
Scipio.  one.  Total  vote  cast,  four  hundred  and 
four,  of  which  Rockford  had  a  majority  over  all 
of  two  hundred  and  thirty-six. 

The  ])rospective  village  of  \\'innebago  reached 
the  highest  point  of  all  its  greatness  on  the  day 
when  its  ambitious  claims  were  rejected  by  the 
county  commissioners'  court.  In  April,  1844, 
many  of  the  lots  were  sold  by  the  sheriff'  to 
satisfy  delinquent  taxes ;  and  in  1847  the  plat  was 
vacated  by  a  special  act  of  the  legislature. 

In  pursuance  of  the  popular  vote  in  favor  of 
Rockford.  the  county  commissioners,  on  June 
8,  1839,  selected  the  public  square  on  the  east 
side  of  the  river  as  the  site  for  the  courthouse. 
.\nson  Barnum  and  Daniel  S.  Haight  were  au- 
thorized to  accept  stone  and  other  building  ma- 
terial. A  large  quantity  of  brick  and  lumber  was 
contributed  by  the  citizens.  This  material  re- 
mained on  the  public  square  for  a  long  time,  be- 
cause the  county  had  no  money  to  continue  the 
work.  At  a  special  session  held  June  17,  the 
court  selected  the  southeast  corner  of  block  nine 
as  a  site  for  a  jail.  This  is  the  site  now  occu- 
pied by  the  Rockford  Gas  Light  and  Coke  Com- 
pany. No  jail,  however,  was  built  upon  that 
location. 

At  the  session  of  September  28.  1841.  a  propo- 
sition was  submitted  to  the  commissioners'  court 
to  furnish  a  suitable  jail  and  quarters  for  the 
county  offices  in  West  Rockford  until  permanent 
buildings  could  be  constructed.  This  proposal 
was  signed  by  Messrs.  George  Haskell.  Charles 
I.  Horsman,  Abriam  Alorgan.  John  W.  Taylor, 
David  .\lling.  Nathaniel  Loomis.  Ephraim 
Wyman,  Horatio  Nelson.  Derastus  Harper 
and  Isaiah  Lyon.  L^pon  executing  a  bond  in  the 
penal  sum  of  one  thousand  dollars  this  proposi- 
tion was  accepted.  December  nth  these  gentle- 
men reported  to  the  commissioners'  court  that  the 
building  for  the  county  offices  was  ready  for  use 
and  the  same  was  accepted  by  the  court.  This 
was  a  frame  structure  on  the  southwest  corner 
of  Main  and  Chestnut  streets,  opposite  the  Hotel 
Nelson.  This  building  was  occupied  by  the  court 
until  the  courthouse  was  built,  and  only  a  few 
\ears  ago  was  torn  down  to  make  room  for  the 
block  now  occupied  by  Mead,  Hallock  &  Ben- 
nett. The  donors  at  this  December  session  were 
given  an  extension  of  five  months  to  complete  the 
jail.     This  was  a  log  structure  about  twelve  feet 


36 


PAST     AXI)     PRESEXT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


square,  with  plank  door,  ami  wiiulow  barntl  with 
iron  set  into  the  logs  above  and  below.  It  stood 
east  of  the  ])resent  courthouse,  in  the  .same  block. 
Whenever  a  desperate  character  was  confined 
therein  it  was  necessary  to  station  a  j^uard.  Pre- 
vious to  the  erection  of  this  primitive  prison  the 
nearest  jail  was  at  (ialcna.  When  I.  N.  Cun- 
ninj^diam  was  sheriff  he  owned  a  substantially 
built  house  a  short  distance  from  town,  and  his 
brother  William  once  prevented  a  prisoner  from 
escai)ing  at  ni^fht  by  fastening  one  end  of  a 
chain  to  his  ankle  and  the  other  to  the  ankle 
of  the  prisoner,  and  both  were  secured  to  the 
stronj^f  puncheon  tloor.  The  old  lotj  jail  did  its 
duty  after  a  fashion  until  the  brick  jail  was 
completed. 

.•\  controversy  aro.se  concerning  the  precise 
meaniufi  of  the  statute  under  which  the  election 
of  May,  1839.  had  been  held.  That  portion  of 
the  tliird  section  of  the  law  enclosed  in  paren- 
thesis was  ambiguous.  The  point  at  issue  was 
whether  the  law  actually  authorized  an  election 
to  select  a  seat  of  justice,  or  merely  to  decide  the 
general  fiuestion  of  removal.  The  question  was 
before  the  connnissioners'  court  at  its  September 
session  in  1841.  Each  commissioner  held  a  dif- 
ferent opinion.  May  10,  1842.  the  commission- 
ers" court  requested  the  bar  of  the  city  to  submit 
opinions  in  writing  concerning  the  legal  effect  of 
the  popular  vote.  Opinions  were  prepared  by 
Anson  S.  Miller,  Francis  Burnap,  Thomas  D. 
Robertson,  James  M.  Wight,  and  Jason  Marsh. 
Mr.  Miller's  ojiinions  were  f|uite  elaborate.  The 
attv)rneys  were  unanimous  in  the  o|)inion  that  the 
county  seat  had  been  changed  from  Winnebago 
to  Rockford,  in  accordance  with  the  evident  in- 
tent of  the  law.  At  the  session  of  July,  1842, 
the  commissioners'  court  authorized  the  judges 
of  election  in  the  several  precincts  to  take  the 
sense  of  the  voters  at  the  .Vugust  election  on  the 
question  whether  the  county  buildings  should  be 
l)ermaneiUly  located  in  East  or  West  Rockford. 
Several  ])rccincts  did  not  vote  on  the  question  ; 
but  the  general  result  was  favorable  to  the  West 
side,  inasmuch  as  the  temporary  location  of  the 
county  offices  on  that  side  had  already  given  it 
a  degree  of  prestige.  The  vote  had  no  legal 
effect,  however,  because  the  law  had  given  the 
commissioners'  court  full  power  in  the  premises. 
Piut  it  clid  have  a  certain  persuasive  influence. 

In  April,  1843,  Daniel  S.  Ilaight,  E.  H.  Potter, 
HoUis  II.  Mohnes,  Laomi  Peak.  Daniel  Howell 
and  John  A.  Brown,  of  the  East  side  submitted 
a  proposition  to  the  county  commissioners  to 
huild  a  courthouse  and  jail,  to  cost  four  thou- 
.sanrl  dollars.  This  proposal  was  considered,  but 
complications  prevented  its  acceptance.  In  a 
few  <lays.  .\pril  22d,  citizens  of  West  Rockford 
made  a  similar  proposition.  On  condition  that 
the   commissioners   select   the   site   on   the   West 


side,  the  citizens  agreed  to  erect  such  buildings 
as  the  county  commissioners  should  direct,  and 
according  to  such  ])lan  and  finish  as  the  com- 
missioners should  furnish  for  a  courthouse, 
county  offices  and  jail,  the  said  buildings  to  be 
commenced  before  the  first  day  of  June  next,  and 
the  jail  to  be  finished  before  the  first  day  of 
January,  1844,  The  remainder  of  the  said  build- 
ings was  to  be  finished  by  the  first  day  of  No- 
vember, 1844.  The  donors  were  to  perfect  and 
convey  to  the  county  a  good  title  to  the  land  on 
which  the  said  building  should  stand,  to  the 
amount  of  two  and  one-half  acres.  This  propo- 
sition was  signed  by  Messrs.  George  Haskell, 
Charles  I.  Horsman,  H.  W.  Loomis,  M.  Burner, 
Charles  Hall.  Thomas  D.  Robertson,  George  W. 
Dewey,  David  D.  Ailing,  H.  R.  Maynard,  Alden 
Thomas,  S.  Skinner,  George  1 '.arrows,  John 
F'isher,  Derastus  Harper,  Daniel  Dow. 

Nothing  had  been  done  on  the  I'-ast  side  toward 
erecting  county  huiklings  with  the  material 
furnished,  and  the  proposition  from  the  west  side 
citizens  was  accepted,  with  five  conditions :  These 
were:  First,  security  must  be  given  to  the  ac- 
ceptance of  the  commissioners  or  any  two  of 
them  in  term,  time  or  vacation  within  twenty 
days ;  second,  that  the  security  be  a  bond  for 
twenty  thousand  dollars,  and  the  buildings  be 
worth  not  less  than  six  thousand  dollars ;  third, 
that  said  bond  \jc  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  clerk 
of  the  court  within  three  days  from  its  accept- 
ance ;  fourth,  that  the  subscribers  to  the  proposi- 
tion, or  a  majority  of  them,  enter  into  a  contract 
in  writing  within  twenty  days  to  erect  the  build- 
ings as  offered  in  their  proposition ;  fifth,  that 
the  contract  be  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  clerk 
ot  the  court  within  three  days  from  its  approval. 
The  commissioners  ordered  that  block  twenty- 
five  in  west  Rockford  be  the  site  of  the  buildings. 
Thus  closed  a  contest  which  had  continued  for 
seven  years. 

The  brick  jail  was  completed  and  occupied 
Januarv  i.  1844.  The  court  house  was  finished 
in  July  of  the  same  year  and  was  accepted  by  the 
county  commissioners.  Derastus  Harper  and 
John  Beattie  were  the  architects.  It  was  one 
story,  about  fifty-six  feet  long,  thirty-five  feet  in 
width  and  seventeen  feet  high.  The  court  room 
was  fifty-four  by  thirty-three  feet ;  nine  feet  in 
the  rear  of  the  bench  was  partitioned  off  into 
jurv  rooms.  Two  rows  of  sli]is  made  in  the  style 
of  those  erected  in  the  churches,  filled  the  room 
outside  the  bar,  and  accommodated  three  hundred 
persons.  The  entire  edifice,  including  the  pedi- 
ment, and  four  fluted  columns  in  front,  was  built 
in  the  Grecian  Doric  order  of  architecture.  The 
])ublic  square,  jail  and  courthouse  were  furnished 
i)v  the  citizens  of  West  Rockford  without  the  out- 
lav  of  a  dollar  by  the  county.  The  stone  building 
in  which  the  county  records  were  kept  was  built  in 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


i7 


1851.      All    these   buililin^s    have   lieeii    removed 
from  the  square. 

The  first  term  of  court  held  in  the  new  build- 
ing; was  in  August,  1844.  The  presiding  judge 
was  Thomas  C.  Brown;  James  Mitchell,  clerk; 
G.  A.  Sanford,  sheriflf.  Many  bright  stars  in 
the  legal  firmament  of  that  day  practiced  in  Win- 
nebago county.  Belvidere,  Freeport,  Galena,  and 
Chicago  sent  their  best  talent.  The  famous  "Mat" 
Carpenter  of  Wisconsin  came  to  Rockford  on 
professional  business  half  a  century  ago. 

NOTABLE   .SECES.SION    MOVEiMENT. 

Sixty  years  ago  Winnebago  county  figured 
prominently  in  a  movement  of  secession  from 
Illinois  for  the  purpose  of  annexation  to  Wis- 
consin. This  agitation  covered  the  entire  period 
between  the  admission  of  Illinois  in  1 818,  and  the 
admission  of  Wisconsin  thirty  years  later.  The 
storv  forms  one  of  the  most  interesting  chapters 
in  the  history  of  the  commonwealth.  The  move- 
ment was  widespread,  and  the  feeling  at  times 
was  intense  and  even  bitter.  The  village  of 
Rockford  played  quite  a  part  in  this  struggle. 
There  was  brought  to  light  in  this  city  in  1899 
a  copy  of  the  official  proceedmgs  of  a  mass  meet- 
ing held  in  Rockford,  July  6,  1840.  This  con- 
vention was  composed  of  delegates  from  the 
northern  fourteen  counties  of  the  state.  Its  pur- 
pose was  secession  from  Illinois,  and  annexation 
to  the  proposed  new  state  of  Wisconsin. 

History  has  never  fulh^  explained  the  causes  of 
this  movement.  Tradition  alone  has  interpreted 
its  true  animus.  The  apparent  motive  was  a 
restoration  of  the  boundary  line  as  originally  es- 
tablished between  the  two  states  that  might  be 
formed  of  the  territory  north  of  an  east-and-west 
line  running  through  the  southerly  bend  of  Lake 
Michigan.  This  line,  it  was  claimed,  had  been 
arbitrarily  and  unfairly  extended  fifty  miles 
north  when  Illinois  became  a  state. 

The  real  reasons  for  this  movement  were  two : 
First,  the  settlers  in  the  northern  and  southern 
portions  of  the  state  had  little  or  no  interest  in 
common.  The  northern  portion  was  settled  prin- 
cipally by  people  who  had  come  from  New  Eng- 
land and  New  York.  Thev  were  industrious, 
thrifty  and  progressive.  They  built  towns  and 
cities  as  by  magic.  The  southern  part  of  Illinois 
was  settled  by  emigrants  from  the  slave-holding 
states.  They  were  generally  poor,  as  the  well- 
to-do  people  did  not  emigrate.  In  those  days  the 
poor  man  in  the  south  was  scarcely  above  the 
negro  in  the  social  scale.  This  class  came  into 
southern  Illinois  from  slave-holding  states  to  es- 
cape the  limitations  of  their  former  poverty.  Be- 
tween the  people  of  the  southern  and  the  north- 
ern portions  of  the  state  was  a  great  gulf  fixed. 
Each  misunderstood  the  other.     The  Illinois  and 


Michigan  canal  was  opposed  by  the  people  of 
southern  Illinois  for  fear  it  would  flood  the  state 
with  Yankees.  This  conflict  of  interest  and 
opinion  was  a  continuation  of  the  struggle  be- 
tween the  civilizations  of  Plymouth  and  James- 
town. The  Puritan  and  the  class  distinctions  of 
the  cavalier  had  entered  the  western  arena,  where 
a  few  years  later  Lincoln  and  Douglas  fought 
the  historic  battle  of  the  century. 

The  second  reason  for  this  sectional  divorce- 
ment was  the  desire  of  the  northern  people  to 
escape  the  burden  of  the  enormous  state  debt, 
which  had  been  created  by  the  gigantic  scheme 
of  internal  improvements.  In  1840,  during 
Governor  Carlin's  administration,  the  total  debt 
of  the  state,  principal  and  interest,  was  fourteen 
million  si.x  hundred  and  sixty-six  thousand  five 
hundred  and  si.xty-two  dollars  and  forty-two 
cents.  The  treasury  was  bankrupt ;  the  revenue 
was  insufficient :  the  people  were  not  able  to  pay 
high  taxes,  and  the  state  had  borrowed  itself  out 
of  credit.  The  state  never  repudiated  its  debt, 
but  it  simply  could  not  pay  it  at  that  time.  More- 
over, the  state  had  little  to  show  for  this  vast  ex- 
penditure. Southern  Illinois  dominated  the  state, 
and  the  people  in  the  sparselv  settled  northern 
counties  were  not  responsible  for  the  creation  of 
the   state   debt. 

Such  was  the  condition  of  affairs  when  the 
mass  convention  was  held  in  Rockford  in  the 
summer  of  1840.  In  order  to  more  fully  under- 
stand the  historic  situation  at  that  time,  it  will 
be  necessary  to  briefly  refer  to  the  document 
which  gave  a  plausible  pretext  to  the  separatist 
movement.  This  was  the  ordinance  for  the 
government  of  the  Northwest  Territory,  adopted 
in  1787.  This  ordinance  provided  for  the 
division  of  this  vast  area  for  territorial  purposes, 
which  of  course  had  no  bearing  upon  the  present 
matter.  It  further  provided  that  not  more  than 
two  states  should  be  formed  from  the  territory 
north  of  an  east-and-west  line  running  through 
the  southerly  bend  of  Lake  Michigan. 

In  18 1 8  Illinois  territory  ])etitioned  congress 
for  admission  into  the  union  on  an  equality  with 
the  original  states.  The  petition  defined  the 
northern  boundary  of  the  state  in  accordance  with 
the  provisions  of  the  ordinance  of  1787.  When 
the  petition  came  before  congress,  Nathaniel 
Pope  was  instructed  by  the  committee  to  report 
a  bill  in  pursuance  of  the  petition.  Before  the 
bill  became  a  law  it  was  amended  by  the  extension 
of  the  boundary  line  from  the  southerly  bend  of 
Lake  ^Michigan  to  fortv-two  degrees  thirty 
minutes.  Thus  was  added  to  Illinois  a  territory 
fifty  miles  from  north  to  south,  which  now  in- 
cludes the  northern  fourteen  counties  of  the  state. 
These  important  and  radical  changes  were  pro- 
posed and  carried  through  both  houses  of  con- 
gress by  Mr.  Pope,  entirely  on  his  own  personal 


38 


PAST     AXD    TRESEXT    OE     WIXXEriAGO    COl'XTV. 


respoiisil)ility.  Tlie  territorial  k'g:islatiire  had  not 
petitioned  for  tlicin.  l)iit  tlic  jjrcat  and  lasting  ad- 
vantage was  so  ap])arent  that  the  action  of  Mr. 
Pope  received  the  lUKiualified  endorsement  of  the 
people. 

When  Wisconsin  hegan  to  as])ire  to  stateliood, 
it  was  ui)on  the  language  of  the  or<linance  of 
1787.  above  t|iioted.  which  was  «leclareil  a  com- 
pact to  remain  forever  unalterable,  that  our  north- 
ern neighbor  based  her  claim  to  the  territory 
north  of  the  original  line. 

This  <|uestion  of  boundary  became  an  issue  in 
local  politics,  and  it  was  not  until  184S.  when 
Wisconsin  became  a  state,  that  all  hopu  of  the 
restoration  of  the  original  line  was  abandoned. 

In  accordance  with  this  wiilcspread  movement, 
which  is  said  to  have  Ix-gun  at  Galena,  a  mass 
meeting  was  held  at  the  Rockford  House,  in 
Rockford,  July  6,  1840.  One  hundred  and  twenty 
delegates,  who  re])resented  the  entire  territory 
in  dispute,  were  in  attendance. 

.\  committee  was  instructed  to  report  resolu- 
tions ileclaratory  of  the  right  of  Wisconsin  to 
the  territory  in  dispute.  The  preamble  declared 
that  it  was  the  general,  if  not  the  universal,  belief 
of  the  residents  of  the  tract  of  territory  in  dis- 
pute, that  the  same  by  right  and  by  law  is  a  part 
of  the  Territory  of  Wisconsin ;  and  that  their 
interests  would  be  advanced  by  the  restoration  of 
the  original  line,  as  defined  b\-  the  ordinance  of 
1787. 

The  resolution  declared  first,  that  it  was  the 
opinion  of  the  meeting  that  the  intention  of  the 
framers  of  the  ordinance  of  1787  for  the  govern- 
ment of  the  Xorthvvest  Territory,  was  that  if 
congress  formed  one  or  two  states  north  of  the 
cast-an<l-west  line  aliove  mentioned,  that  the 
states  south  of  the  line  .shoidd  not  extend  north 
and  beyond  it :  second,  that  congress,  in  thus 
extending  the  northern  boundary  of  Illinois, 
transcended  its  power  and  violated  the  provisions 
of  the  ordinance. 

It  was  also  resolved  that  if  the  governor  of 
Wisconsin  Territory  should  issue  a  ])roclamation 
for  an  election  of  delegates  to  a  convention  for 
the  formation  of  a  state  government,  under  the 
resolutions  relating  to  the  southern  boundary,  ap- 
])roved  January  i.^  1840,  the  citizens  of  the  ter- 
ritory in  dispute  should  elect  delegates  to  the  con- 
vention, according  to  the  ratio  fixed  by  the  rcso- 
hition. 

The  sixtli  resolution  |)rovided  that  a  central 
Cfunmittee  of  five  be  a])pointe<l  to  carrv  iiUo  ef- 
fect the  resolutions  of  the  convention,  and  to  in- 
form the  executive  of  Wisconsin  of  tlie  status  of 
public  opinion.  It  was  finally  resolved  that  a 
copy  of  the  proceedings  of  the  convention  should 
be  signed  by  the  president  and  secretary  and  for- 
warded to  the  governor  of  the  Territory  of  Wis- 
consin. 


Other  boundary  conventions  were  held  in 
various  parts  of  the  district.  A  convention  at 
Oregon  City,  January  22,  1842.  adopted  resolu- 
tions similar  to  those  approved  at  Rockford 
eighteen  months  earlier.  The  delegates  even 
went  to  the  point  of  declaring  that  the  ordinance 
of  1787  should  not  be  changed  without  the  con- 
sent of  the  ])eo|)le  of  the  original  states,  and  of 
the  X'orthwest  Territory. 

.\  meeting  was  held  in  (lalena.  March  18,  1842, 
of  whicli  Charles  S.  Hemi^stead  was  i)resi(lcnt. 
Strong  resolutions  were  adopted.  One  declared 
that  the  annexation  of  the  district  to  Illinois  was 
an  unlawful,  arbitrary  ])rocecding,  and  a  danger- 
ous precedent. 

In  June.  1842,  the  commissioners'  court  of 
W'innebago  county  submitted  this  question  to  a 
popular  vote  of  the  county  at  the  .August  election. 
The  returns  were  as  follows :  Eor  annexation  to 
Wisconsin,  nine  hundred  and  seventy-one ;  op- 
posed to  annexation,  six. 

.\  meeting  of  the  citizens  of  P.elvidere  was 
held  September  7,  1842,  when  it  was  decicled  to 
call  a  special  election  for  the  fourth  Monday  in 
September,  in  pursuance  of  the  recommendation 
contained  in  the  proclamation  of  Governor  Doty, 
of  the  Territory  of  Wisconsin.  Such  an  elec- 
tion was  held,  with  a  result  similar  to  that  in 
\Mnnebago  county. 

This  prolonged  agitation  accomplished  no  re- 
sult. The  movement  suddenly  lost  its  momentum 
and  became  a  spent  force.  The  essential  jjrinciplc 
involved  in  the  resolutions  that  were  adopted  at 
Oregon  City  was  whether  the  congress  of  the 
United  States  under  tlie  constitution,  had  no 
))ower  to  amend  a  jirior  act  of  confederated  states. 
In  view  of  the  subse(|uent  evolution  of  the  federal 
idea,  under  the  S])lendi<l  leadershiji  of  Webster 
and  Marsliall.  it  seems  sunirising  that  such  a 
preposterous  claim  should  have  been  seriously 
considered. 

KOCKIDKD    ol'l'OSi:s    RI-ITDIA  I  ION, 

The  history  of  the  l)onde<I  indebtedness  of  the 
states  begins  with  the  ))eriod  from  i8_^o  to  1840. 
.\t  the  beginning  of  that  decade  the  aggregate 
debt  of  the  several  states  amounted  to  only  thir- 
teen million  dollars.  Then  began  an  era  of  ex- 
travagance in  which  certain  states  made  enormous 
cxjienditures  for  ititernal  improvements,  and  for 
funiling  their  delits.  negotiated  large  loans  on 
long  time.  Within  the  twelve  years  succeeding 
1830  the  aggregate  debt  of  the  states  had  arisen 
to  more  than  two  liun<lred  millions,  an  increase 
of  more  tlian  sixteen  hundred  |ier  cent. 

Illinois  narrowlv  escajied  tlie  odium  of  rc|)udi- 
ation.  .\t  this  critical  period  Thomas  Eord  be- 
came governor,  t  >n  this  jjfiint  he  says  in  his 
History  of  Illinois:  "It  is  my  solemn  Ix^lief  that 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WIXXEBAGO     COUNTY. 


39 


when  I  came  into  office  I  had  the  power  to  make 
Illinois  a  repudiating  state."  After  July,  1841, 
no  effort  was  made  to  pay  even  the  interest  on  the 
debt:  and  her  bonds  declined  to  fourteen  cents 
on  the  dollar.  Ford  was  elected  governor  in 
1842  :  and  his  title  to  fame  securely  rests  upon 
the  fact  that  he  stemmed  the  tide,  so  that  the 
larger  proportion  of  the  debt  was  actually  paid 
during  his  administration. 

Notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  citizens  of 
\\'innebago  county  desired  annexation  to  Wis- 
consin, in  part  by  reason  of  this  debt,  there  was 
no  attempt  made  to  repudiate  the  debt  so  long  as 
they  remained  in  the  state.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  citizens  took  an  unequivocal  position  against 
such  a  ruinous  policy.  A  call  was  issued  for  a 
meeting  February  5.  1842,  to  consider  the  con- 
dition of  the  public  credit.  This  call  was  signed 
by  S.  Al.  Church,  S.  D.  Preston,  George  S.  Has- 
kell :  Germanicus  Kent,  D.  S.  Haight,  G.  A. 
Sanford,  Francis  Burnap  and  others.  It  had 
been  surmised  that  Illinois  would  refuse  to  pay 
its  debt.  This  call  was  endorsed  by  a  vigorous 
editorial  in  the  Rockford  Pilot,  which  closed 
with  these  words :  "As  this  is  a  question  of  vital 
consideration  to  every  citizen,  we  trust  tliat  a  full 
attendance  will  be  had  on  that  occasion — that  by 
your  presence  and  your  voices  you  may  show  to 
the  world  your  opinion  in  regard  to  these  sur- 
mises. Think  not  that  your  individual  credit  is 
independent  of  that  of  your  state  and  nation.  All 
power  and  all  public  acts  emanate  directly  from 
the  people,  who  are  the  sovereigns  of  the  re- 
public ;  and  whatever  honor  or  shame  falls  to 
your  state,  must  be  shared  among  you."  The 
citizens"  meeting  was  in  sympathy  with  this  edi- 
torial comment ;  and  the  moral  influence  of  Win- 
nebago county  was  thus  placed  on  record  against 
a  repudiating  policy  that  would  have  brought 
the  state  into  everlasting  disgrace. 

SETTLERS    OF    THE    EARLY    FORTIES. 

Orrin  Miller  came  to  Rockford  in  1843  ''nd 
engaged  in  the  practice  of  law.  He  was  a  bril- 
liant and  able  attorney.  Mr.  Miller  married  a 
daughter  of  AMllard  \\Tieeler.  About  1871  he 
removed  to  the  Pacific  coast.  His  death  oc- 
curred at  Pomona,  near  Los  Angeles,  in  Febru- 
ary, i8gi.  He  was  about  seventy  years  of  age. 
His  remains  were  brought  to  Rockford  for  inter- 
ment. 

Another  early  lawyer  of  the  village  was  Grant 
B.  Udell.  His  name  is  occasionally  found  on  old 
legal  documents  :  but  he  seems  not  to  have  been 
generally  remembered. 

Anson  S.  Miller  was  a  prominent  lawyer  and 
politician  half  a  century  ago.  He  was  elected 
state  senator  in  1846,  was  postmaster  of  Rock- 
ford   under    appointment    of    President    Lincoln, 


and  probate  judge  from  1857  to  1865.  Judge 
Aliller  was  one  of  the  presidential  electors  in 
1864,  and  was  chosen  by  the  electoral  college  to 
carry  the  vote  of  Illinois  to  Washington.  Judge 
Aliller  died  January  7,  1891,  at  Santa  Cruz,  Cali- 
fornia. For  twenty  years  preceding  his  death  he 
had  resided  in  California.  Judge  Miller  was 
eighty-two  years  of  age. 

Cyrus  F.  Miller,  a  brother 'of  Judge  Miller,  was 
born  near  Rome.  New  York.  He  came  to  Win- 
nebago county  in  1839  or  '40  and  was  for  many 
years  a  well  known  member  of  the  local  bar,  and 
justice  of  the  peace.  Mr.  Miller  removed  to  Chi- 
cago in  1871,  directly  after  the  great  fire.  He 
practiced  law  in  that  city  until  1876.  when  he  re- 
turned to  Rockford.  His  death  occurred  June  4. 
i8qo,  at  Beatrice,  Nebraska,  and  his  remains 
were  brought  to  Rockford  for  burial. 

Daniel  Dow  came  to  Rockford  in  1841,  and 
opened  a  boot  and  shoe  store,  and  later  he  car- 
ried a  general  stock  of  merchandise.  He  pur- 
chased goods  at  St.  Louis,  and  his  first  trip  to 
that  city  was  made  by  team  to  Galena ;  thence  by 
the  Mississippi  to  his  destination.  Mr.  Dow  con- 
tinued in  business  until  i85().  when  he  retired 
and  traveled  extensively.  Upon  his  return  to 
Rockford  he  began  dealing  in  grain.  Mr.  Dow 
served  the  Third  ward  as  alderman  for  six  years. 
He  died  November  8,  1903. 

Lewis  B.  Gregory  is  a  native  of  Seneca  county, 
New  York.  He  was  born  in  1820,  of  New  Eng- 
land ancestry.  His  father  was  Rev.  Harry 
Gregory,  a  Methodist  minister.  Mr.  Gregorv  ac- 
quired a  seminary  education.  He  came  to  Rock- 
ford in  1843,  '1"'^'  began  teaching  the  same  year. 
Mr.  Gregory  is  probably  the  oldest  living  teacher 
in  the  county.  After  teaching  several  terms,  he 
became  interested  in  business  on  the  old  water- 
power  on  the  east  side  of  the  river.  He  was  a 
nephew  of  Samuel  and  Eliphalet  Gregory,  set- 
tlers of  1835. 

George  Tullock  was  a  well  known  citizen  of 
Scottish  birth.  He  was  born  in  181 5.  and  came 
to  Rockford  in  1841.  At  Chicago  Mr.  Tullock 
hired  his  passage  with  a  teamster :  but  the  roads 
were  so  bad  that  he  started  ahead  on  foot,  and 
arrived  in  Rockford  three  days  ahead  of  the 
team.  Mr.  Tullock  was  employed  by  Daniel  Dow 
nearly  four  years  as  a  shoemaker.  He  then 
became  a  farmer. 

THE  FIRST   COUXTV    F.MRS. 

As  early  as  August,  1840.  a  committee  was  ap- 
pointed to  draft  a  constitution  and  by-laws  for 
the  Winnebago  County  Agricultural  Society. 
This  connnittee  deferred  its  report  until  the  next 
Alarch  term  of  the  county  commissioners'  court, 
in  order  to  avail  itself  of  the  privilege  of  organiz- 
ing the  society  under  the  statute  "to  incorporate 


40 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     W  IXXEBAGO     COUX'IV, 


agricultural  societies,"  which  was  passed  March 
28,  1830-  The  act  re(|uirecl  the  county  commis- 
sioners to  jjive  due  notice  of  the  intention  to  form 
such  society  at  that  s])ecial  term  only,  and  pre- 
cluded a  lej^ai  or^^fanization  in  this  county  at  an 
earlier  tlate,  under  the  provisions  of  the  statute. 

The  Ajiricidtural  .Society  was  orfjanized 
A])ril  13,  1 84 1.  Dr.  Haskell  was  elected  presi- 
dent ;  Robert  J.  Cross,  vice-president ;  George  W. 
Lee,  secretary;  Cliarles  I.  Ilorsman,  treasurer; 
Horace  Miller,  Richard  Montajjue.  I'.  M.  John- 
son, James  S.  Xorton,  Xewton  Crawford.  I.  X'. 
Cunningham.  Jonathan  W'eldon.  directors.  An 
adjourned  meeting  was  held  July  stli.  .Septem- 
ber 8th  a  meeting  of  the  officers  was  held  to  com- 
plete arrangements  for  the  first  cattle  show.  Tt 
was  <Iecided  that  the  fair  should  he  held  annually 
in  Rockforil.  alternating  on  the  east  and  west 
sides  of  the  river :  that  all  the  available  funds  of 
the  society  be  distributed  in  premiums,  and  that 
the  premiums  be  i)aiil  in  agricultural  ])ublications. 

The  e.xhibition  was  held  on  the  13th  of  October. 
The  stock  was  exhibited  in  the  grove  near  the 
northeast  corner  of  I'irst  and  Oak  streets  which 
was  known  as  the  Oak  Openings,  where  the 
ground  was  covered  with  a  beautiful  tuft.  A 
few  splendid  specimens  of  the  jiriniitive  oak  trees 
remain  in  the  vicinity.  Cattle  and  horses  were 
tied  to  the  trees ;  the  shee])  and  hogs  were  con- 
fined in  rail  |)ens.  The  dis])lay  of  domestic  ar- 
ticles and  garden  proiluce  was  made  in  the  hall 
of  the  Rockford  House.  Charles  I.  Horsman  cx- 
hil)ited  a  squash  weighing  one  hundred  and 
twenty-eight  pounds.  There  were  several  loads 
of  grain  standing  in  the  street  in  front  of  the 
Rockford  House. 

-At  two  o'clock  the  society  and  visitors  formed 
a  procession,  under  direction  of  Jason  Marsh. 
the  marshal  of  the  day.  and  marched  to  the  court- 
house, on  the  East  side.  Rev.  Joel  B.  Potter 
offered  prayer,  and  Dr.  Goodhue  delivered  an  ad- 
dress. He  was  eloquent  in  his  pro])]iecy  of  the 
future  whicli  awaited  the  farmers  of  this  fertile 
valley,  .\fter  these  exercises  dinner  was  served 
at  the  Rockford  House.  .\t  half  past  five  the 
committee  on  awards  made  its  report.  The  pre- 
mium list  was  brief.  There  were  seven  premiums 
offered  for  horses,  six  for  cattle,  four  for  hogs, 
and  two  for  sheep ;  one  for  the  Ix^st  cultivated 
ten  acres  of  land,  one  for  the  best  twenty-five 
])ounds  of  butter,  one  for  the  best  cheese  weighing 
over  fifteen  i)r)unds,  one  for  the  best  ten  yards  of 
dannel  manufactured  in  the  comity,  f)ne  for  the 
best  fifty  skeins  of  sewing  silk  manufactured  in 
the  county,  and  one  for  the  best  ten  )ioimds  of 
sugar  manufactured  in  the  county.  Thus  was 
held,  in  a  single  day.  the  first  cattle  show  in  north- 
trn  Illinois. 

This  society  kept  up  its  organization  and  an- 
nual exhibits   for  some  vears,  when  it  ceased  to 


exist.  In  185J  another  society  was  formed,  out 
of  which  a  larger  organization  was  developed. 
The  latter  was  organized  under  a  general  law, 
apjjroved  in  1855.  Until  1858  the  society  held 
its  exhibitions  on  leased  ground.  In  that  year, 
twelve  acres  of  land  were  purchased  of  C.  I. 
Ilorsman,  for  six  himdred  dollars  per  acre.  Later 
inirchases  were  made,  which  increased  the 
grounds  to  twenty-two  acres. 


llll-;    liANIMI" 


Ol"     rilK    I-KO.NTIICR. 


The  frontier  is  always  the  prey  of  the  banditti. 
I-rom  1837  t<i  1845  the  Rock  river  valley  was  in- 
fested with  a  notorious  gang  of  outlaws,  .\mong 
the  leaders  of  this  band  were:  John  Driscoll, 
William  and  David  Driscoll,  his  sons ;  John 
llrodie,  and  his  three  sons,  John.  Stephen  and 
Hugh  ;  Sanniel  .\ikens,  and  his  three  .sons,  Rich- 
ard. Charles  and  Thomas ;  William  K.  I'ridge, 
Xorton  U.  Royce.  Charles  Oliver,  and  Charles 
West.  liesides  these  chiefs  of  the  robber  con- 
federacy, there  were  a  large  number  of  subordi- 
nates scattered  throughout  the  country. 

The  leaders  of  this  gang  were  among  the  first 
settlers,  and  thus  had  the  choice  of  locations. 
John  Driscoll  came  from  ( )hio,  and  settled  near 
Killbuck  creek.  Monroe  townshij).  Ogle  county. 
William  Driscoll  settled  at  South  Grove,  in  De- 
Kalb  count V.  David  Driscoll  resided  a  short 
distance  east  of  the  old  village  site  of  Lynnville, 
in  (^gle  county.  John  Pirodie  lived  in  a  grove  of 
timber  in  Dement  township.  Samuel  .\ikens  and 
his  son  Charles  and  William  K.  Bridge  settled  in 
Washington  Grove,  and  Thomas  and  Richard 
Aikens  and  Xorton  P..  Royce  at  Lafayette  Grove, 
scarcely  half  a  mile  distant.  Charles  Oliver  set- 
tled at  Rockford,  and  made  his  home  at  the 
Rockford  House.  He  had  a  good  address,  and 
was  given  four  thousand  dollars  by  his  father 
when  he  left  the  parental  home.  About  1837, 
while  he  was  an  miknown  member  of  this  band 
of  oulaws,  he  came  within  a  few  votes  of  being 
elected  a  justice  of  the  peace,  over  James  B. 
Martyn.  Charles  West  made  his  home  at  Inlet 
Grove,  in  Lee  county. 

The  operations  of  this  hand  extended  through 
the  western  and  northwestern  states.  Along  the 
entire  line  there  were  convenient  stations  in 
charge  of  men  who,  to  all  ajipearance,  were 
honest,  hard-working  settlers.  Such  was  Wil- 
liam McDole.  a  quiet,  industrious  resident  of 
Rockford.  I'nder  this  arrangement,  a  horse 
stolen  at  either  end  of  the  line  or  elsewhere 
could  be  passed  from  one  station  to  another,  and 
no  agent  be  absent  from  his  home  or  business  for 
more  than  a  few  hours  at  a  time ;  and  thus  for 
vears  thev  remained  unsus]>ected.  .\t  that  time 
few  counties  were  sufficientlv  organized  to  en- 
force  efficient    jiolice    regulations.      This   section 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


41 


was  sparsely  settled ;  the  pioneers  were  poor, 
and  money  was  scarce.  There  were  few  jails, 
and  these  were  scarcely  worthy  of  the  name.  For 
several  vears  after  the  settlement  of  Winnebago 
county,  the  nearest  jail  was  at  Galena.  There  is 
a  story  to  the  effect  that  the  sheriff  of  this 
county  once  took  a  culprit  to  Galena,  and  upon 
his  return  to  Rockford  his  late  prisoner  was 
among-  the  first  to  greet  him. 

This  primitive  condition  of  society  was  the  op- 
portunity of  the  border  outlaw.  Counterfeiting, 
horse-stealing,  robbery  and  even  murder  were  of 
such  frequent  occurrence  that  the  settlers  were 
driven  to  desperation.  They  resolved  to  adopt 
radical  measures  for  relief ;  for  if  these  outrages 
were  continued  property  was  insecure,  and  hfe 
itself  was  in  constant  jeopardy.  In  the  spring  of 
1841.  a  delegation  of  reputable  citizens  of  White 
Rock  and  Paine's  Point,  Ogle  county,  called  upon 
Judge  Ford,  who  was  then  holding  circuit  court 
at  Oregon  for  consultation.  Judge  Ford  was  a 
fearless  man,  and  naturally  well  equipped  to  meet 
the  peculiar  conditions  of  pioneer  life.  Judge 
Ford  knew  that  the  settlers  were  at  the  mercy  of 
the  banditti,  and  that  it  was  useless  to  invoke  the 
civil  authorities.  He  therefore  advised  them  to 
organize  a  company,  which  should  call  upon  the 
men  whom  they  knew  to  be  lawless,  take  them 
bv  force  from  their  homes,  strip  them  to  the  waist, 
and  lash  them  with  a  blacksnakc.  He  recom- 
mended thirty-six  lashes  as  the  first  chastise- 
ment, and  sixty  for  a  second  ofifense  ;  and  that 
the  leaders  should  be  given  ten  days  in  which  to 
leave  the  country. 

Judge  Ford's  advice  was  followed  to  the  let- 
ter. A  decree  from  the  bench  could  not  have 
been  more  faithfully  executed.  In  April  about 
fifteen  citizens  met  at  a  log  schoolhouse  at  White 
Rock  and  organized  a  company  known  as  the 
Ogle  County  Regulators.  P>y-laws  and  rules 
were'  adopted  and  the  membership  increased  to 
hundreds  in  Ogle  an<l  Winnebago  counties.  The 
late  Ralph  Chancy  was  an  active  member  of  this 
organization  :  and  to  him  the  writer  is  indebted 
for  information  of  those  stirring  experiences. 

John  Earle  was  the  first  victim  of  this  savage 
justice.  It  was  proved  that  he  had  forced  or  in- 
duced a  young  man  under  twenty  years  of  age  to 
steal  his  neighbor's  horse.  Earle's  coat  and  vest 
were  removed,  and  his  arms  pinioned.  Six  or 
seven  luen  were  chosen  from  the  company  to  ad- 
minister five  lashes  apiece.  Mr,  Chancey  relates 
that  a  deacon  of  the  church  inflicted  the  most 
vigorous  strokes.  The  result  was  quite  unex- 
pected. At  the  next  meeting  of  the  Regulators, 
Earle  applied  for  membership,  was  admitted,  and 
became  a  good  worker. 

The  second  instance  occurred  in  the  afternoon 
of  the  same  day.  The  culprit's  name  was  Dag- 
gett.    Before  coming  to  the  w'cst  he  had  been  a 


Baptist  minister.  He  was  not  a  shining  example 
of  the  perseverance  of  the  saints,  a  distinctive 
doctrine  of  that  church  ;  for  he  had  fallen  from 
grace  with  a  dull,  sickening  thud.  The  Regu- 
lators were  not  agreed  concerning  his  punish- 
ment :  although  his  guilt  was  generally  believed. 
A  bare  majority  of  one  or  two  voted  to  release 
him.  That  night,  however,  the  minority  tied 
Daggett  to  a  tree  and  gave  him  ninety-six  lashes. 
Dr."  Hobart  examined  him  occasionally  to  prevent 
fatal  injurv.  This  chastisement  was  denounced 
by  the  more  conservative  Regulators. 

'  Soon  after  their  organization  John  Campbell 
was  chosen  captain  of  the  Regulators.  A  short 
time  after  they  had  begun  their  work  of  ex- 
termination, Mr.  Campl)ell  received  an  epistle 
from  William  DriscoU,  in  which  he  offered  bat- 
tle. The  Regulators  were  challenged  to  meet 
him  Tuesday,  June  22d,  at  his  home  in  South 
Grove.  Mr.  Campbell  was  generally  recognized 
as  the  right  man  to  lead  such  an  organization. 
He  was  a  devout  Scotch  Presbyterian,  who  had 
come  from  Canada. 

At  the  appointed  time  one  hundred  and  ninety- 
six  men,  armed  with  rifles  and  muskets,  re- 
sponded to  the  challenge.  They  were  mounted 
on  good  horses ;  with  the  stars  and  stripes  un- 
furled to  the  breeze,  and  a  bugle,  they  formed  in 
line,  two  abreast,  and  began  the  march  to  the 
field  of  battle.  When  they  arrived  at  South 
Grove  they  found  seventeen  members  of  the  gang 
in  a  log  house,  barricaded  for  defense,  armed 
with  fifty-four  guns  of  different  kinds.  The 
Regulators  halted  just  outside  of  gunsliot  and 
held  a  council  of  war.  Before  making  an  attack 
it  was  resolved  to  send  a  messenger  to  the  house 
to  ascertain  the  plans  of  the  inmates,  Osborn 
Chaney  volunteered  to  beard  the  lions  in  their 
den.  When  within  forty  rods  of  the  house  the 
men  broke  through  the  door  and  ran  away;  and 
Mr.  Qianey  did  not  get  an  opportunity  to  speak 
with  any  one  of  them.  Soon  after  Mr.  Chaney 
returned  to  the  company  he  was  followed  by  a 
man  named  Bowman,  who  said  he  had  a  message 
from  John  Driscoll  to  the  effect  that  if  the  Regu- 
lators wished  to  confer  with  him  he  would  re- 
ceive the  message  from  Bowman  and  from  no 
one  else.  William  Driscoll  also  sent  word  by  the 
same  messenger  that  he  had  three  hundred  allies 
at  Svcamore,  and  that  they  would  meet  the  Regu- 
lators on  the  prairie  two  hours  later.  The  latter 
repaired  to  a  level  piece  of  ground,  examined 
their  guns,  and  waited  developments.  In  due 
time  Driscoll  arrived,  with  the  sheriff  of  De- 
Kalb  county  and  two  other  officials,  who  wished 
to  know  the  meaning  of  the  demonstration.  Cap- 
tain Campbell  stood  in  a  wagon,  and  in  a  vigor- 
ous speech  gave  them  the  desired  information. 
Meanwhile  Driscoll  sat  on  his  horse  about  four 
feet  distant.    He  was  silent,  buKin  a  terrible  rage. 


42 


PAST     AM)     I'RKSKXT     OF     WIXXELSAGO     COUXTY. 


Mr.  Chancy  says  he  heard  the  tiratiiisj  of  his 
teeth,  and  l)eheves  that  then  and  there  Cami)bell 
received  his  death  sentence  from  Driscoll.  Tlie 
officials  from  DeKalb  county  expressed  their 
sympathy  with  the  Ret^ulators.  and  the  DriscoUs 
promised  to  leave  the  state  within  twenty  days. 
The  Re;julatf>rs  disl)ande<l  for  the  day  and  went 
home.  Tile  Driscolls  did  not  keep  their  word. 
On  the  contrary,  a  meetinp  of  the  des])cradoes 
was  held  on  the  followinjj  Saturday  ni,e:ht  at 
the  house  of  William  I'.ridfjc.  at  Washington 
Grove,  where  the  nuirder  of  Campbell  was 
])lanned. 

On  Sunday.  June  27th,  David  an<l  Ta\lor  Dris- 
coll. who  had  been  chosen  to  murder  Campbell, 
accomplished  their  purjiose.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Cami)l)ell  ha<l  just  returned  from  church  at  the 
log  schoolhouse  at  White  Rock.  While  .going 
trom  the  house  to  the  barn  about  twilight,  he  was 
shot  through  the  heart  by  David  Driscoll.  Ralph 
Qianey  was  luaking  his  home  with  his  brother 
I'hineas  about  three-(|uarters  of  a  mile  distant. 
He  heard  the  rejiort  of  the  gun  and  the  cries  of 
the  family.  He  and  FMiineas  immediately  went 
to  the  assistance  of  the  Cami)i)ell  family.  Mr. 
Campbell  walked  about  forty  feet  and  fell  dead. 

Xews  of  the  tragedy  s])rea<l  f|uickly  to  Rock- 
ford  and  other  towns.  Mrs.  Campbell  was  a  wit- 
ness of  the  murder,  and  there  was  no  doubt  about 
the  identity  of  the  assassins.  On  Monday  the 
sheriff  of  (  )gle  county  and  a  ])osse  arrested  John 
Driscoll  at  the  home  of  his  son.  David,  near 
Lynnville.  Mr.  Chaney  gives  this  incident  of  the 
arrest:  "When  he  was  arrested  he  said:  "I  al- 
ways calculate  to  hold  myself  in  subjection  to 
the  laws  of  my  country."  .-\  daughter  who  was 
sto|>])ing  there,  a  woman  grown,  large  and  strong, 
when  the  sheriff  announced  that  he  was  a  pris- 
oner, turned  and  faced  her  father,  and  their  eyes 
met,  and  there  was  that  kind  of  a  look  I  can 
hardlv  descriln?,  passed  between  them,  and  as  she 
held  hi?  eye  she  nodded  her  head  to  him.  Xoth- 
ing  said,  but  such  a  look  I  never  saw  in  the 
world." 

The  sheriff  and  his  ])osse  then  went  to  South 
( Irove  in  search  of  William  Driscoll.  The  elder 
Driscoll  was  seated  in  a  wagon  between  two 
guards.  .\  company  from  Winnebago .  county 
had  preceded  them,  and  had  arrested  \\"illiam  and 
his  younger  brother  Pierce.  The  sheriff  took  his 
prisoner  to  TJregon  and  lodged  him  in  jail. 

.-\bout  nine  o'cl<ick  Tuesday  morning  a  parly 
went  to  the  jail,  and  with  heavy  timbers  battered 
down  tlie  door.  They  to<ik  John  Driscoll  from 
his  cell,  put  a  ro])e  arfiund  his  neck  and  dragged 
him  to  the  river  as  ra])idly  as  ])ossible.  The 
sheriff  |)ursued.  Init  l)efore  he  could  overtake 
them  they  had  entered  a  Imal  with  their  jirisoner 
and  were  soon  on  the  otiier  side  of  the  river. 
There  they  met  a  man  from  Washington  Grove, 


who  told  them  there  was  a  ])arty  at  that  place  who 
had  taken  the  two  sons,  William  and  Pierce.  They 
then  proceeded  with  John  Driscoll  to  Washington 
Grove,  where  they  met  the  Rockford  division, 
liy  this  time,  aboiu  ten  o'clock  in  the  forenoon, 
the  crowd  had  increased  to  about  five  hundred. 
Xearly  every  class  of  people  was  rejiresented. 
The  horsemen  dismounted,  secured  their  horses, 
and  stacked  their  arms  around  a  tree.  They 
formed  a  hollow  stjuare  around  the  tree,  and 
brought  the  three  Driscolls  into  the  centre. 
.Among  the  lawyers  jiresent  was  E.  S.  Leland, 
who  acted  as  the  leader,  and  conducted  an  ex- 
amination of  the  prisoners.  A  mob  court  was 
instituted.  The  senior  Driscoll  was  asked  how 
man\'  horses  he  had  stolen  in  his  tiiue  :  to  which 
he  replied  thai  he  supposed  he  had  taken  as  many 
as  fifty.  "Could  you  not  say  a  hundred?'  asked 
an  inc|uisitor :  and  the  old  man,  with  a  faint 
smile,  said:  "It  luight  be."  He  confessed  that  he 
had  ])aid  young  men  fifteen  to  twenty-five  dollars 
to  steal  a  horse  from  a  neighbor,  simply  to  satisfy 
a  grudge,  when  he  received  no  pecuniary  reward 
from  the  theft.  William  Driscoll  was  similarly 
interviewed.  Pierce  Driscoll  was  examined,  but 
no  evidence  was  found  against  him.  and  he  was 
given  his  liberty. 

John  and  William  Driscoll  were  then  told  that 
David  and  Taylor  had  been  identified  as  the  mur- 
derers of  Campbell :  also  that  evidence  had 
])roved  them  to  be  accessories  in  the  i)lot  at 
1 'ridge's  house  on  the  preceding  .Saturday  even- 
ing. .\fter  further  deliberation.  Mr.  Iceland 
called  for  an  e.\i)ression  of  oi)inion  u])on  the  guilt 
of  the  i)risoners  by  the  uplifted  right  hand.  The 
decision  was  almost  unaniiuous  against  them. 
The  vote  upon  their  jiunishment  was  equally  de- 
cisive that  they  should  be  hung,  then  and  tlicre ; 
and  they  were  given  one  hour  in  which  to  pre- 
pare for  death.  The  condemned  men  implored 
their  executioners  to  change  the  method  of  death 
from  hanging  to  shooting.  This  request  was 
granted  by  a  unanimous  vote.  The  senior  Dris- 
coll had  stood  in  the  meantime  with  the  rope 
around  his  neck,  and  he  asked  Mr.  Chaney  to 
remove  it. 

The  arrangements  for  the  execution  occupied 
about  an  hour  and  a  half.  Jason  Mar.sh,  of 
Rockford,  was  ])resent,  and  pro|)osed  to  Charles 
Latimer,  as  an  additional  formality,  to  defend  the 
])risoners.  and  |)re.sent  their  case  before  the  mob 
court.  .Mr.  Marsh  then  made  the  opening  pica 
for  the  prisoners.  "And  I  nuist  say."  said  Mr. 
Chaney.  "he  did  himself  credit,  and  full  justice 
to  the  i)risoners  in  his  sjieech.  Latimer  followed 
in  Ix'half  of  the  peoi)le.  and  made  a  very  able 
speech."  There  were  several  ministers  of  the 
gospel  on  the  scene,  who  spent  the  time  allowed 
the  prisoners  in  praying  and  conversation  with 
them.      It    was  an   occasion   of  great   solemnity. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


43 


Righteous  wrath  was  expressed  in  the  resohite 
and  orderly  execution  of  mob  justice. 

When  the  hour  of  execution  arrived,  about 
one  hundred  and  twenty  men  were  drawn  up  in 
line,  in  single  file.  This  line  was  divided  in  the 
center.  John  Driscoll  was  led  out  by  Captain 
Pitcher,  in  full  view  of  his  executioners.  He 
was  made  to  kneel  ten  paces  in  front  of  the  west 
half  of  the  line.  His  eyes  were  blindfolded,  and 
his  arms  pinioned  behind  him.  At  the  signal 
all  the  guns,  save  one,  were  fired  in  a  single  volley. 
John  Driscoll  fell  forward  on  his  face  without  a 
struggle  or  groan,  or  the  apparent  movement  of 
a  muscle. 

William  Driscoll  was  then  brought  out  and 
placed  at  the  same  distance  before  the  center  of 
the  other  half  of  the  line.  He  was  blindfolded, 
pinioned,  and  made  to  kneel  upon  the  ground. 
As  Judge  Leland  counted  three,  the  volley  of 
more  than  fifty  guns  was  as  the  sound  of  one. 
William  Driscoll  was  dead.  The  father  and  son 
fell  about  forty  feet  apart.  A  grave  was  dug  be- 
tween them,  about  two  and  one-half  feet  deep, 
and  four  feet  wide.  The  old  man  was  first  taken 
and  placed  in  the  grave,  without  coffin  or  shroud ; 
and  then  the  son  was  laid  by  his  side.  Their 
caps  were  drawn  over  their  faces,  and  thus  they 
were  buried,  without  the  presence  of  a  mourn- 
ing friend.  Mr.  Chaney  assisted  in  carrying  the 
elder  Driscoll  to  the  grave,  and  discovered  that 
the  bones  of  his  head  were  literally  broken  to 
pieces,  and  the  region  of  the  heart  perforated 
with  bullets.  In  William  Driscoll's  vest  front 
were  found  forty  bullet-holes.  After  their  execu- 
tion one  of  their  guards  stated  that  \Mlliam  Dris- 
coll, in  his  prayer,  confessed  he  had  committed 
five  murders  and  jjrayed  to  be  forgiven.  It  is 
said  that  just  before  he  was  led  out  to  die,  Wil- 
liam called  his  brother  Pierce  and  said :  "They 
are  going  to  kill  me,  and  I  want  you  to  take  that 
money  of  mine  that  is  hid  and  give  my  children 
a  liberal  education,  and  spend  it  for  their  sup- 
port until  they  become  men  and  women  grown. 
There  is  plenty  of  it."  Pierce  expressed  his  wil- 
lingness to  do  so,  but  said:  "I  don't  know  where 
your  money  is  ;  you  have  never  told  me."  Wil- 
liam tried  to  tell  him,  but  exclaimed:  "O  my  God! 
I  can't  do  it."' 

A  strange  sequel  occurred  many  vears  later. 
The  farm  that  had  been  owned  by  William  Dris- 
coll became  the  property  of  a  man  named  Byers. 
One  day  in  autumn,  while  he  was  threshing, 
three  men  came  on  horseback  and  entered  the 
grove  west  of  the  house.  After  surve}'ing  the 
premises  they  located  a  spot  and  began  digging. 
Byers  ordered  them  to  stop,  but  he  was  con- 
fronted by  a  revolver  and  an  order  to  return 
and  mind  his  own  business.  After  their  de- 
parture Byers  went  to  the  spot  and  found  a  hole 
which  they  had  dug  in  the  ground,  and  beside  it 


a  small  empty  box,  and  at  the  bottom  of  the  hole 
the  mark  and  place  from  which  the  box  had 
been  dug.  No  explanation  -was  ever  found.  A 
reward  of  five  hundred  dollars  was  ofifered  in 
August,  1841,  for  the  capture  of  David  and 
Taylor  Driscoll,  by  a  committee  of  citizens  of 
Ogle  county.  David  Driscoll  never  returned. 
Taylor  Driscoll  was  indicted  for  the  murder  of 
Campbell  and  kept  in  different  jails  nearly  two 
}ears  ;  and  by  changes  of  venue  and  confusion 
of  witnesses  he  was  at  length  given  his  liberty. 

Throughout  these  strange  proceedings  the 
Regulators  were  sustained  by  the  ablest  lawyers 
and  best  citizens  throughout  the  country.  "Doc- 
tors and  scholars,  ministers  and  deacons"  re- 
garded this  terrible  example  of  lynch  law  as  a 
public  necessity. 

Some  months  after  the  execution  of  the  Dris- 
colls  the  matter  was  brought  before  the  attention 
of  the  grand  jurv  in  Ogle  county.  Judge  Ford 
then  resided  at  Oregon,  and  it  is  said  this  action 
was  taken  at  his  suggestion.  At  the  September 
term  of  the  circuit  court,  indictments  were  foimd 
against  one  hundred  and  twelve  citizens.  Among 
these  were  four  Chancy  brothers,  Richard, 
I'hineas,  Osborn  and  Ralph,  three  of  whom  be- 
came residents  of  Rockford :  and  Horace  ]\Iiller, 
Jason  Marsh  and  Charles  Latimer,  of  Winne- 
bago county.  The  case  was  called  for  trial  at 
the  same  term  of  court.  Judge  Ford  presided, 
and  Seth  B.  Farwell  appeared  for  the  people. 
Some  of  the  jurors  were  under  indictment  for 
complicity  in  the  affair.  Several  witnesses  were 
called,  and  pleas  made ;  and  without  leaving  their 
seats  the  jurv  returned  a  verdict  of  "not  guilty." 
No  one  expected  a  conviction,  but  it  was  con- 
sidered desirable  to  have  the  matter  settled  ac- 
cording to  the  regular  form  of  law.  Thus  closed 
the  trial  of  the  largest  number  of  defendants 
ever  indicted  under  one  charge  at  one  session 
of  a  grand  jury  known  to  the  judicial  history  of 
this  section. 

ROHBERY    OF    IICKENNEY    AND    MULFORD. 

The  execution  of  the  Driscolls  was  only  the 
beginning  of  the  work  of  extermination ;  al- 
though it  was  the  sole  instance  where  such  des- 
perate measures  were  considered  necessary  to  ac- 
complish their  purpose.  Robberies  and  murders 
continued,  and  the  people  lived,  for  years  under 
a  literal  reign  of  terror. 

September  19,  1843,  the  store  of  William  i\Ic- 
Kenney,  near  the  site  of  318  East  State  street,  in 
Rockford,  was  robbed  of  a  trunk  containing 
nearly  twelve  hundred  dollars.  Bradford  Mc- 
Kenney,  his  brother,  who  slept  in  the  store  at  the 
time,  gives  a  vivid  account  of  the  robbery  in  Mr. 
Thurston's  reminiscences. 

The  narrative,  in  its  use  of  adjectives  and  in- 


44 


PAST     AXn     I'RF.SF.XT     OF     WTXXFP.ACO     roCXTV. 


torjcctions,  requires  some  revision  in  order  to 
make  it  conform  to  the  canons  of  good  literary 
style.  The  rol)l)er.  in  liis  hasty  flight,  left  eight 
dollars  in  silver  in  the  trunk.  The  next  day 
several  dollars  were  found  at  another  place :  and 
the  ne.xt  spring  James  (iilbert  found  sixty-two 
dollars  only  a  few  roils  from  where  the  trunk 
was  rifled  of  its  contents.  .\  reward  of  two 
hundred  dollars  was  otTered  for  tlie  apprehension 
of  the  thief  and  the  recovery  of  the  money:  but 
he  was  an  ex]>ert.  and  eluded  capture. 

The  community  was  startled  two  weeks  lati,'r 
by  another  bold  depredatinn.  Monday  evening. 
( )ctober  2.  one  of  the  four-horse  coaches  belong- 
ing to  I'riiik.  Walker  &  Co.  was  robbed  four 
miles  from  Rockford,  while  en  route  to  Chicago. 
It  is  said  the  baggage  of  the  ])assengers  was 
stolen  from  the  rear  of  the  coach  while  in  mo- 
tion, and  that  the  fact  was  not  discovered  until 
its  arrival  in  Xewburg.  The  next  morning  the 
trunks  were  found  a  few  rods  from  tlic  road, 
rhey  had  been  broken  open  and  all  propertv  of 
any  value  had  been  taken.  .\  |)lan  had  been  laid 
to  secure  a  large  amount  of  money  which  had 
been  rieposited  in  the  land  office  at  Dixon,  and 
this  was  the  object  which  it  was  intended  to  ac- 
complish by  the  robbery  of  the  stage  coach  at 
this  time.  It  was  known  that  a  considerable  sum 
of  money,  which  had  been  received  from  the  sales 
of  ])ul)lic  lands  was  on  dep«xsit  at  Dixon  and  was 
about  to  be  removed.  .\  leader  of  the  banditti 
liad  asked  the  receiver  when  he  intended  to  go 
to  Chicago,  where  the  dci^osit  was  to  be  made. 
The  receiver  was  a  prudent  man,  and  his  sus- 
picions were  arou.sed.  He  therefore  replied  that 
he  would  leave  Dixon  one  week  later  than  he 
really  intended  to  start :  he  thus  baffled  the  plot 
of  the  robbers.  The  Rockford  l'\)rum.  in  com- 
menting on  this  affair,  said:  "What  renders  these 
transactions  still  more  exciting  is  that  they  arc 
performed  by  those  who  are  ix-rfect  scholars  in 
the  business  movements  of  the  town."  Xo  im- 
mediate clew  to  this  robberv  was  obtained. 

In  Xovember,  1844,  William  Mulford,  resid- 
ing on  his  farm  in  Guilford,  four  and  a  half  miles 
east  of  Rockff>rd,  on  the  Cherry  \'alley  road, 
was  robbed  of  five  hundred  dollars  in  money. 
It  had  been  fal.sely  rei)orted  that  .Mr.  .Mulford 
hail  received  alKiut  fourteen  thousand  dollars  a 
short  time  before :  and  this  rumor  had  reached 
the  robbers.  (X-tober  28th  a  man  who  gave  the 
name  of  Haines  called  on  Mr.  Mulford  and  pro- 
fes.sed  to  be  in  search  of  employment.  His  real 
purjjose  was  to  obtain  money  by  other  means 
than  honest  toil :  and  he  had  come  to  look  over 
the  premises.  (  )n  .'Saturday,  Xovember  <)tb. 
about  eight  o'clock  in  the  evening,  three  masked 
men,  armed  with  pistols,  knives  and  clubs, 
forced  an  entrance  into  the  house.  The  leader 
ordered  Mr.  Mulford  to  sit  down.     He  then  took 


the  candle  from  the  table,  cut  it  into  three  pieces, 
lighted  them,  placed  one  in  each  of  the  two  win- 
dows, and  with  the  third  he  began  his  search  of 
the  house.  With  the  most  direful  threats  the 
family  were  forced  to  sul)mission.  The  keys  to 
the  bureau  drawers  were  ilemanded.  They  were 
told  that  they  were  in  the  stable  behind  the 
horses.  This  was  a  ruse  to  give  .Mr.  .Midford 
an  o]i])ortunity  to  reach  his  rifle  in  another  i)art 
of  the  room.  When  the  men  went  tt)  the  barn  he 
attempted  to  reach  the  gun,  but  another  man, 
who  had  been  stationed  at  the  door,  held  a  ])istol 
close  to  his  head  and  ordered  him  to  desist,  '("lie 
robbers  could  not  find  the  keys  in  the  barn,  and 
returned  in  a  rage  to  the  house.  They  swore 
they  would  "chain  the  old  devil,"  and  set  the 
house  on  fire,  and  by  that  time  they  would  tell 
where  the  keys  were.  Mrs.  Mulford  imagined 
she  heard  the  clanking  of  chains,  and  told  the 
robbers  where  the  key  could  be  found.  They 
unlocked  the  drawer  and  found  the  money  in 
an  envelojje,  just  as  it  had  been  taken  from  the 
bank.  One  of  the  gang  was  identified  as  Haines, 
who  had  called  in  search  of  emiiloyment.  It 
was  subsequently  learned  that  two  men,  armed 
with  rifles,  stood  outside,  and  for  their  benefit 
the  candles  were  placed  at  the  windows. 

.Xemesis  was  on  the  trail  of  the  outlaws,  and 
in  due  time  she  will  summon  a  cloud  of  witnesses 
to  bring  them  to  justice.  In  the  spring  of  1845 
Charles  West,  of  Lee  county,  was  arrested  for  the 
robbery  of  a  peddler  named  Miller,  and  a  ])ortion 
of  the  goods  was  found  in  his  ])ossession.  West 
was  committed  to  jail  at  Dixon,  and  during  his 
confinement  he  jiroposed  to  turn  state's  evidence, 
and  disclose  all  he  knew  concerning  his  con- 
federates. It  was  an  instance  where  "the  devil 
sick,  the  devil  a  monk  would  be."  His 
proposition  was  acce])ted.  and  West  made  what 
he  professed  to  be  a  full  confession,  and  de- 
clared that  Charles  Oliver  and  William  McDole. 
of  Rockford,  were  members  of  the  band.  He 
al,so  gave  the  names  of  the  outlaws  who  com- 
mitted the  robberies  at  McKenney's  store  and 
Mulford's  farm-house. 

This  startling  intelligence  soon  reached  Rock- 
ford and  created  great  excitement.  L'|)on  the 
strength  of  West's  statements  Oliver  and  Mc- 
Dole were  immediately  arrested  and  an  officer 
was  dis])atched  to  bring  West  to  Rockford  to 
give  his  testimony  at  their  examination.  Oliver 
and  McDole  were  given  a  hearing  alxnit  the  7th 
of  June.  West  testified  that  he  was  at  Oliver's 
house  about  a  year  before,  when  the  plans  of  the 
gang  were  discussed  in  detail.  .McDole  and  Sut- 
ton were  also  nresent  at  the  same  time.  McDole 
and  Oliver  talked  about  a  jial  named  Burch  in 
connection  with  the  McKenney  robbery.  McDole 
discovered  where  the  money  was  kept,  and  P.urch 
entered  at  the  window  and  obtained  the  bootv. 


PAST  AXD  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


45 


In  the  proposed  raid  upon  Mr.  ]\Iulford,  Oliver 
and  AIcDoIe  were  to  ascertain  the  situation  of 
the  house  and  Burch  and  one  or  two  others  were 
to  get  the  money. 

Such,  in  brief,  was  the  testimony  given  by 
West.  His  story  was  generally  believed.  Oliver 
and  McDole  were  required  to  give  bail  in  the 
sum  of  fifteen  hundred  dollars  each,  for  their 
appearance  at  the  next  term  of  court :  in  default 
of  which  they  were  committed  to  prison.  A  few 
days  later  Bridge,  one  of  the  leaders  of  the 
banditti  residing  in  Ogle  county,  was  arrested 
and  placed  in  jail  at  Rockford.  A  guard  was 
necessary  for  some  time  for  their  protection. 

The  trial  of  Oliver  began  in  the  circuit  court 
August  26,  1845.  His  indictment  was  for  re- 
ceiving money  stolen  from  William  Mulford,  in 
November,  1844.  Hon.  Thomas  C.  Brown  was 
the  presiding  judge.  The  jurors  were:  Giles 
Mabie,  Calvin  Haskell,  J.  Heath,  Jr.,  George 
Dixon,  Phineas  Howes,  Ezra  C.  Tracy,  Asa 
Farnsworth,  Asa  Crosbv,  Andrus  Corbin,  Harvey 
Higby. 

There  was  an  unusual  display  of  legal  talent. 
The  district  attorney  was  James  L.  Loop.  He 
was  assisted  bv  Thomas  D.  Robertson,  Jason 
JMarsh,  James  'SI.  ^^'ight,  and  Miller  &  Miller. 
Martin  P.  Sweet,  of  Freeport,  and  M.  Y.  John- 
son, of  Galena,  were  the  counsel  for  the  defend- 
ant. Among  the  witnesses  on  the  stand  were : 
William  Mulford,  Charles  H.  Spafford.  G.  A. 
Sanford,  D.  Howell,  E.  S.  Blackstone,  William 
J.  Mix,  of  Oregon,  Charles  West,  of  Lee,  and 
S.  C.  Fuller,  the  jailer.  The  last  named  wit- 
ness testified  that  the  prisoners  tried  to  bribe 
him  to  furnish  them  with  brace  and  bits  so  that 
they  might  effect  their  escape.  Each  offered  Air. 
Fuller  fifty  dollars  at  first,  and  then  increased  the 
Sinn  to  five  hundred.  During  the  trial  Oliver 
was  defiant  and  confident  of  acquittal.  But  since 
his  arrest  retributive  justice  had  been  forging 
another  chain  of  convicting  evidence. 

During  the  summer  Jason  Alarsh  had  received 
a  letter  from  the  warden  of  the  penitentiary  at 
Jackson,  Michigan,  to  the  eft'ect  that  a  prisoner 
in  his  charge  knew  about  the  robbery  and  was 
willing  to  testify.  Mr.  Marsh  went  to  Michi- 
gan and  foimd  the  prisoner  to  be  Irving  A. 
Stearns,  who  had  fonnerlv  resided  in  this  county, 
and  who  had  left  the  state  soon  after  the  rob- 
bery. He  had  been  convicted  of  some  crime  in 
Michigan  and  sent  to  the  penitentiary.  Mr. 
Alarsh  pretended  not  to  recognize  Stearns ;  but 
told  him  that  he  wanted  to  know  what  he  had 
to  say  upon  the  subject,  and  that  he  would  know 
if  he  told  the  truth.  Mr.  Marsh  found  the 
testimony  of  the  prisoner  very  important,  and 
communicated  the  facts  to  the  governor,  who 
gave  to  Mr.  Marsh  a  conditional  pardon  for 
Stearns.     The  prisoner's  communications  to  Mr. 


Marsh,  however,  were  made  without  any  promise 
of  consideration  whatever.  Mr.  jMarsh  returned 
to  Rockford,  and  at  the  time  for  the  court  to 
convene,  he  sent  for  Stearns,  and  upon  his  ar- 
rival he  was  placed  in  close  confinement  until 
he  was  wanted  in  court.  Oliver  knew  nothing 
of  these  facts.  When  the  name  of  "Irving  A. 
Stearns"  was  called  as  a  witness  for  the  people, 
Oliver  was  startled,  and  sat  crestfallen  by  the 
side  of  his  counsel.  Courage  and  hope  fled  to- 
gether. Stearns  testified  that  the  secrets  of  the 
Mulford  robbery  had  been  given  by  Oliver,  and 
that  Oliver  had  offered  him  some  of  the  stolen 
money  in  exchange  for  a  horse.  His  evidence 
was  straightforward,  and  a  rigid  examination 
failed  to  weaken  it  at  any  point. 

The  case  was  given  to  the  jury  Saturday  after- 
noon. The  jury  was  out  an  hour  and  a  half, 
when  it  returned  with  a  verdict  of  guilty  and  a 
sentence  of  eight  years'  confinement  in  the  peni- 
tentiary. Thus  terminated  the  most  exciting 
criminal  case  ever  tried  in  Winnebago  county. 
The  case  was  managed  with  great  abilitv  on  both 
sides.  The  argument  of  James  Loop  and  the  ex- 
ploit of  Jason  Alarsh  have  become  familiar  tra- 
ditions of  the  local  bar  of  the  olden  time. 

Bridge  took  a  change  of  venue  on  all  his  in- 
dictments to  Ogle  county.  When  his  case  was 
called  he  plead  guilty,  and  was  sentenced  to  the 
penitentiary  for  seven  years.  McDole's  trial  be- 
gan November  26,  1845,  ^"d  the  case  was  given 
to  the  jury  December  ist.  After  an  all-night's 
session  the  jury  brought  in  a  verdict  of  guilty, 
with  a  sentence  of  seven  years  in  the  penitentiary. 
The  attornevs  for  the  state  were  Marsh  & 
Wright,  :\Iifler  &  [Miller,  and  T.  D.  Robertson. 
McDole  was  defended  bv  John  A.  Holland,  Grant 
B.  Udell,  of  Rockford,  and  Martin  P.  Sweet,  of 
Freeport.  The  court  ordered  that  one  month  of 
the  term  of  imprisonment  be  spent  in  solitary  con- 
finement. 

John  Long,  Aaron  Long,  and  Granville  Young 
were  executed  at  Rock  Island  in  October,  1845, 
for  the  murder  of  Colonel  Davenport,  which  oc- 
curred July  4,  1845.  This  execution  practically 
completed  the  work  of  extermination  which  had 
been  begun  by  the  Ogle  County  Regulators  on 
Tuesday,  June  2q,  1841. 

Burch  was  indicted  for  the  murder  of  Colonel 
Davenport.  He  took  a  change  of  venue  to  an- 
other county,  and  made  his  escape  from  jail.  The 
three  Aikens  brothers  died  as  they  had  lived, 
although  they  escaped  the  penitentiary.  Bliss, 
Dewey,  and  Sawyer,  confederates  in  Lee  county, 
were  sent  to  the  penitentiary.  Bliss  died  in 
prison.    The  way  of  the  transgressor  is  hard. 

The  Prairie  Bandits,  written  by  Edward  Bon- 
ney,  is  a  stirring  tale  of  those  early  days.  Bon- 
ney  was  a  newspaper  man,  who  did  some  detective 
work.     His   book   was   first  printed  about  fifty 


46 


PAST     A  NO    PRESENT    OF    WIXXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


years  ago.  and   there   have  heen   several   subse- 
quent editions. 

m:\v   k.nclani)   L-Nrr.\Ri.\xisM. — kiust  church. 

A  number  of  early  settlers  from  New  Eng- 
land were  I'nitarians  of  the  old  school.  An 
effort  to  organize  this  sentiment  was  made  as 
earlv  as  1841.  The  first  meeting  for  this  pur- 
pose was  held  Fel)ruary  ,vl.  .\  subscription  list 
of  this  date  was  found  among  the  papers  of  the 
late  Francis  llurnai).  It  contained  pledges 
amounting  to  one  hundred  and  sixty  dollars  for 
the  sui)])ort  of  a  Unitarian  clergyman.  At  the 
same  time  a  committee  was  appointed  to  promote 
their  interest.  An  adjourned  meeting  was  held 
on  the  13th,  at  the  West  side  schoolhouse,  and 
an  organization  completed. 

There  is  no  record  of  any  progress  during  the 
ne.xt  two  years,  and  it  may  be  concluded  that 
there  was  only  an  occasional  preaching  service. 
Early  in  March,  1843.  Rev.  Joseph  Harrington, 
of  Chicago,  came  to  Rock  ford  and  preached  every 
evening  of  one  week  on  the  distinctive  doctrines 
of  L'nitarianism.  The  meetings  were  well  at- 
tended, and  a  new  interest  awakened.  On  the 
following  Sundav.  March  gth.  a  church  was  or- 
ganized. The  constituent  members  of  the  church 
were:  Joseph  Harringti>n.  Sarah  F.  Dennis, 
Isaac  X.  Cunningham,  Xancy  G.  Cunningham. 
James  Cunningham,  Sarah  M.  Cuiuiinghain. 
Samuel  Cunningham,  h'milv  C.  Cunningham, 
lohn  Paul,  R.  P.  Paul,  W.  D.  Bradford.  Callier- 
ine  F.  Goodhue.  I'^ihraim  W'ynian.  James  M. 
Wight.  John  K.  Kendall.  Susan  Goodrich. 

In  December.  1844.  steps  were  taken  to  se- 
cure a  place  of  worship.  It  was  jiroposed  to  pur- 
chase the  unfinishef!  Universalist  church,  which 
had  been  abandoned.  Several  hundred  dollars 
in  subscri|)tions.  conditional  and  otherwise,  were 
raised,  besides  a  sum  for  an  organ.  These  sub- 
scription lists  are  still  in  existence.  But  the 
|)roject  was  not  successful.  .Another  unsuccess- 
ful eflfort  was  made  to  build  in  i84fi. 

December  i.v  1845.  the  I'nitarian  society  was 
organized  at  the  liome  of  Ephraim  Wyman.  The 
trustees  chosen  were  Ephraim  Wxman,  Thatcher 
l»lake,  and  Richard  Montague. 

I'"or  a  niuuber  of  years  little  was  done.  The 
church  had  services  whenever  a  traveling  clergy- 
man was  available.  This  condition  continued 
imtil  1840.  when  Rev.  H.  .Snow  volunteered  to 
strengthen  the  waste  places  in  this  branch  of 
Zion. 

The  church  hail  hitherto  held  services  in  tlie 
courthouse :  luit  now  they  felt  the  need  of  an- 
other place.  The  frame  building  which  had  been 
u.setl  by  the  First  Piai)tist  church  was  for  sale. 
Tliis  old  e<lifice  may  well  be  called  a  church 
cradle.       It     successively     rocked    the     Baptists, 


Episcopalians,  Unitarians  and  Presb\-terians.  It 
was  an  illustration  of  the  coiumon  origin  of  all 
believers  who  belonged  to  the  true  household  of 
faith.  At  this  time  the  I'nitarians  owned  a  lot 
on  the  ncjrtheast  corner  of  Church  and  Elm 
streets.  They  had  received  two  hundred  and 
fifty  dollars  from  the  American  Unitarian  As- 
sociation, and  with  this  tliey  purchased  the  old 
Baptist  building,  which  they  removed  upon  their 
lot.  For  alxiut  a  year  Mr.  Snow  jireached  two 
Sundays  in  the  month,  and  the  other  Sundays 
at  Pielvidere.  ]\lr.  Snow  invited  Rev.  A.  A. 
Livermore,  who  was  then  at  Keene,.  Xew  Hamp- 
shire, to  act  the  generous  Christian  part  by 
presenting  a  communion  service  to  the  church. 
The  ladies  of  Mr.  Livermore's  church  comjilied 
with  the  request. 

Mr.  Snow's  health  failed  in  the  spring  of  1830. 
and  he  was  obliged  to  resign  from  his  pastorate. 
He  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  John  M.  \\'indsor. 

The  church  enjoyed  a  fair  degree  of  jirosperity 
for  several  years.  In  1853  it  was  proposed  to 
build  a  more  comfortable  place  of  worship.  A 
lot  was  purchased  on  the  corner  of  Chestnut  and 
Church  streets,  and  generous  subscriptions  were 
secured.  Mr.  Windsor  was  sent  east  to  solicit 
contributions  from  the  Unitarians  of  Xew  York 
and  Massachusetts.  He  went  to  Xew  York  early 
in  the  spring  of  1854  to  collect  the  i)romised 
money,  and  never  returned.  Mr.  Windsor  was 
succeeded  by  Rev.  John  Murray,  whose  pastor- 
ate continued  until  March.  1857. 

The  church  was  dedicated  .\pril  18.  1855. 
I'riends  came  from  Chicago.  Geneva,  and  P>elvi- 
dere.  Rev.  Rush  R.  ShijiiJen,  of  Chicago, 
lireachecl  the  dedicatory  sermon.  On  Sunday. 
Mav  Otii.  a  Sunday-school  was  organized,  with 
twenty-five  scholars,  with  Rev.  H.  Snow  as 
superintendent. 

June  8,  1857,  a  call  to  the  pastorate  was  sent 
to  Rev.  .Augustus  H.  Conant,  of  Geneva,  Illinois. 
He  accepted  the  call,  at  a  salary  of  one  thousand 
dollars,  with  certain  ])rivileges  of  vacation  for 
missionary  work  .""Sunday  afternoons  during  a 
|)art  of  the  year.  Rev.  Conant  began  his  jiastoral 
work  July  12,  1857.  The  congre,gation  then  num- 
bered about  seventy.  He  inirchased  a  home  of 
Mr.  Cosper.  on  the  corner  of  ( Ireen  and  West 
streets. 

Mr.  Conant  enjoyed  an  extcndeci  ])ersonal  ac- 
(|uaintancc  among  distinguished  rejiresentativcs 
of  the  Unitarian  faith.  an<l  other  cnntemporaries. 
.\mong  these  were  William  I-lllery  (."banning, 
'nieodore  Parker.  James  Freeman  Clarke.  Horace 
Greelev,  O.  B.  Frothingham,  Margaret  Fuller, 
l-Ved  Douglas,  and  Rolx-rt  Collyer.  Among  Rev. 
Conant's  guests  at  his  Rockford  home  were  Ral]>h 
Waldo  Emerson.  Prof.  Youmans,  Bayard  Taylor, 
Tom  Corwin,  John  Pierpont,  and  T.  Starr  King. 
Tames    Freeman    Clarke,    in    his    .Vutobiograjihy. 


PAST     AXD    PRESENT     OF     \^TXNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


47 


refers  to  Rev.  Conant  as  a  "saint  and  an  apostle." 
The  church  prospered  under  Mr.  Conant's  min- 
istry for  a  time.  He  was  a  man  of  high  ideals 
and  noble  enthusiasm,  and  was  filled  with  the 
missionary  spirit.  But  there  came  a  serious  de- 
clension in  the  financial  and  numerical  strength 
of  the  church.  In  July,  1861,  the  reliable  income 
of  the  society  had  fallen  to  four  hundred  dollars 
a  year,  and  six  months'  salary  was  due  the  pastor. 
Some  of  the  former  members  had  removed  from 
the  city,  and  others  had  been  overtaken  with 
financial  reverses.  Under  these  circumstances, 
]Mr.  Conant  tendered  his  resignation  to  take  effect 
the  first  Sunday  in  July,  1861. 

The  Civil  war  had  now  begun  and  Mr.  Conant 
enlisted  in  his  country's  service  immediately  after 
his  resignation.  He  went  to  the  front  as  a  chap- 
lain in  the  Nineteenth  Illinois  Volunteer  Infantry. 
At  Nashville.  February  8,  1863,  Mr.  Conant 
passed  from  earth  to  "bathe  his  weary  soul  in 
seas  of  heavenly  rest."  His  death  was  due  to  ex- 
posure and  over-exertion  at  the  battle  of  Mur- 
freesboro.  His  death  was  universally  la- 
mented. He  was  one  of  those  rare  souls  whom 
every  one  loved,  and  who  had  never  incurred  an 
unkind  feeling  from  any  one.  His  remains  were 
buried  at  Geneva,  and  Rev.  Robert  Collyer,  then 
of  Chicago,  preached  the  funeral  discourse.  Dr. 
Collyer  subsequently  wrote  a  biography  of  Mr. 
Conant,  with  the  title,  "A  Alan  in  Earnest."  Mrs. 
Conant  died  March  20,  i8q8,  in  her  eightieth 
year. 

After  Mr.  Conant's  resignation,  services  were 
maintained  with  some  regularity  ;  but  the  church 
gradually  declined.  Fred  May  Holland  began 
pastoral  labors  January  4.  1863.  Differences 
arose.  The  conservative  element  became  dissatis- 
fied with  the  pastor  on  account  of  his  radical  or 
"Parkerite"'  tendencies.  Mr.  Holland  was  suc- 
ceeded by  William  G.  Nowell.  who  was  ordained 
April  14,  1864.  Mr.  Nowell  left  the  church  in 
June,  1865.  The  last  pastor  was  Rev.  D.  M. 
Reed,  a  very  scholarly  gentleman.  Mr.  Reed 
wished  some  recognition  of  his  denomination  in 
the  name  of  the  church.  In  accordance  with  his 
request,  the  name  was  changed  to  the  United 
Unitarian  and  Universalist  church.  The  name, 
however,  in  legal  matters  was  simply  Unitarian. 
The  church  was  subsequently  sold,  and  in  1890 
the  proceeds  were  divided  pro  rata  among  the 
original  subscribers.  Many  of  the  members  of 
the  church  united  with  the  Church  of  the  Chris- 
tian Union,  and  others  became  identified  with  the 
Second  Congregational  church. 


EARLY      ELECTIONS  ■ 


■POLITICAL      REMINISCENCES. 


I'nder  the  first  constitution  of  Illinois,  the  com- 
missioners, sheriff'  and  coroner  were  the  only  con- 
stitutional countv  officers.   The  latter  was  elected 


every  two  years.  The  other  county  officers  were 
created  by  statute.  They  were  filled  by  appoint- 
ment made  either  by  the  county  commissioners' 
court  or  by  the  governor.  Previous  to  1835  a 
recorder  for  each  county  was  appointed  bv  the 
governor ;  and  a  surveyor  was  chosen  by  the  com- 
missioners' court.  The  statute  of  1835  made 
these  offices  elective  on  the  first  Monday  in 
August  of  that  year,  and  every  fourth  year  there- 
after. Previous  to  1837  county  treasurers  and 
clerks  of  the  commissioners"  court  were  ap- 
pointed by  said  courts.  An  act  approved  Febru- 
ar\-  7th  of  that  year  made  these  offices  elective  on 
the  first  Monday  in  the  following  August,  on  a 
corresponding  day  in  1839,  and  in  every  fourth 
year  thereafter.  Up  to  1837  a  judge  of  probate 
was  appointed  for  each  county  by  the  legislature. 
An  act  of  March  4th  made  this  office  elective, 
with  the  title  of  probate  justice  of  the  peace,  on 
the  first  Monday  in  August  of  that  year,  on  a 
corresponding  date  in  1839,  and  in  every  fourth 
year  thereafter.  Under  an  act  approved  Febru- 
arv  27,  184:;,  the  tenure  of  office  of  probate 
justice  of  the  peace,  recorder,  clerk  of  the  county 
commissioners'  court,  surveyor  and  treasurer  was 
reduced  to  two  years.  This  law  took  eft'ect  on  the 
first  }\Ionday  in  August,  1847.  Under  the  con- 
stitution of  1848  the  term  of  office  of  the  county 
and  circuit  clerks  was  extended  to  four  years. 

August  I,  1836,  occurred  the  first  general  elec- 
tion in  Winnebago  county.  The  choice  of  the 
county  officers  was  given  in  a  preceding  para- 
graph. 

L'nder  an  early  statute,  presidential  elections  in 
Illinois  were  held  on  the  first  Monday  in  Novem- 
ber. At  the  presidential  election  in  1836,  only 
one  hundred  and  fifty-eight  votes  were  polled. 
This  was  an  increase  over  the  August  election 
of  thirty-eight  votes.  The  Harrison  electors  re- 
ceived seventy  votes,  and  the  \"an  Buren  electors, 
eighty-eight :  a  democratic  majority  of  eighteen. 

In  1837  Harvey  W.  Bundy  was  elected  re- 
corder, to  succeed  Daniel  H.  \M:itney.  of  Belvi- 
dere,  who  had  become  a  resident  of  the  new 
countv  of  Boone.  Herman  B.  Potter  was  elected 
county  commissioner  to  succeed  Simon  P.  Doty, 
of  Belvidere.  Charles  I.  Horsman  was  elected 
probate  justice  of  the  peace,  ililton  Kilburn  had 
served  as  judge  of  probate  the  preceding  year, 
under  appointment.  Nathaniel  Loomis  was 
chosen  clerk  of  the  commissioners'  court ;  Robert 
J.  Cross  was  elected  county  treasurer. 

Winnebago  count}-  forged  so  rapidly  to  the 
front  that  in  1838  it  was  conceded  one  of  the 
representatives  in  the  general  assembly,  and 
Germanicus  Kent  was  elected.  Hon.  James  Craig 
was  re-elected.  Isaac  N.  Cunningham  was 
elected  sheriff  of  the  county ;  Cyrus  C.  Jenks, 
coroner  :  Don  Alonzo  Spaulding,  surveyor  :  Elijah 
H.   Brown,  commissioner.     In   1839  William  E. 


4S 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF    WIXXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


Dunl)ar  was  elected  recorder,  ami  John  Emerson, 
surveyor. 

The  presidential  cani])aiijn  of  1840  was  one  of 
tlie  most  exciting  in  .American  ])olitical  history. 
The  hero  of  Tippecanoe  was  the  idol  of  his  party, 
and  no  leader  ever  received  a  more  enthusiastic 
support.  Winnehajjo  county  had  now  become  a 
wliij:^  stronjjhold,  and  the  party  waged  an  ag- 
gressive campaign  against  tlie  locofocos.  as  the 
democrats  were  then  called,  .\pril  nth  the 
whigs  held  a  convention  at  Rockford,  and  nomi- 
nated a  full  county  ticket,  .\mong  the  local 
leaders  of  this  party  were  Seldcn  AT.  Church. 
Jacob  Miller,  H.  P..  Potter.  G.  A.  Sanford,  Isaac 
N.  Cimningham.  Democratic  principles  were 
championed  by  Jason  Marsh.  Daniel  S.  Haight. 
Henry  Thurston.  P.  Kna|)i)en.  J.  C.  Goodhue. 
H.  W.  Loomis,  C.  I.  Horsman.  P.oone  county 
had  been  organized  from  the  eastern  portion  of 
Winnebago,  and  the  western  two  ranges  had  been 
transferred  to  Ste]i]ien.son.  In  the  .August  elec- 
tions the  wliigs  polled  six  hundred  and  thirty- 
seven  votes,  and  the  democrats,  two  hundred  and 
eighty-five.  The  total  vote  was  nine  hundred  and 
fiftv-two.  Thomas  Drunimond,  of  Jo  Daviess, 
and  Hiram  Thornton,  of  Mercer,  both  whigs. 
carried  the  county  by  good  majorities  for  repre- 
sentative, and  were  elected.  I.  N.  Cunningham 
was  elected  sheriff :  .Alonzo  Piatt,  coroner ;  and 
Ezra  S.  Cable,  commissioner. 

The  presidential  election  occurred  in  Novem- 
ber. The  whigs  cast  seven  lnin<lred  and  sixtv- 
eight  votes  in  the  county,  and  the  democrats, 
three  hundred  and  twenty-one :  total,  one  thou- 
sand and  eighty-nine ;  whig  majority,  four  hun- 
dred and  forty-seven,  .\brahani  Lincoln  was  one 
of  the  five  candidates  for  the  presidential  elector 
in  Illinois.  The  facilities  for  communication  were 
so  meagre  that  the  official  vote  of  the  state  was 
not  known  in  Rockford  until  late  in  December. 
A  messenger  from  the  capital,  with  the  official 
vote  of  tlie  state,  passed  through  Rockford  ten 
days  in  advance  of  its  publication  in  the  Chicago 
papers,  and  comnnmicated,  it  is  said,  the  news  to 
the  prominent  men  of  the  democratic  party  in 
each  village  for  betting  purposes.  Illinois  was 
one  of  the  seven  states  that  elected  Van  Puren 
electors.  This  vote  may  have  been  intentionally 
kept  back  by  the  democratic  officials  at  Sjiring- 
field.  Through  a  technicality  in  an  alleged  non- 
compliance with  the  law.  the  legality  of  \Ir.  Cun- 
ningham's election  to  the  office  of  sheriff  in 
.\ugust  was  questioned :  and  he  again  appealed  to 
the  voters  at  the  November  election,  and  received 
an  emphatic  cndorserTicnt. 

In  1842  Tndge  Thomas  Ford  was  elected 
governor  by  the  democrats.  That  party  in  Win- 
nebago countv  nominated  the  following  ticket : 
Senator  for  \\'innebago  and  Ogle  counties.  Tames 
Mitchell :    for    representative.    John    A.    Brown. 


editor  of  the  Rockford  Pilot:  sheriff".  John  Paul: 
commissioner.  .Spencer  Post:  coroner,  Nathaniel 
Poomis.  The  whigs  nominated  S|)()oner  Ruggles 
for  senator :  George  \V.  Lee.  representative ;  G. 
.\.  Sanford,  sheriff:  Isaac  M.  Johnson,  commis- 
sioner: Harvey  (jregory,  coroner.  Mr.  Lee  with- 
drew, and  Darius  .\dams,  of  Pecatonica.  was  sub- 
stituted. The  official  vote  of  the  county  for  sen- 
ator, representative  and  sheriff  was  as  follows : 
Ruggles.  four  hundred  and  sixty-nine:  Mitchell, 
four  hundred  and  ninety  :  .Adams,  five  hundred 
and  forty  :  Prown,  three  himdred  and  seventy-six  ; 
Sanford,  five  hundred  and  fifty-nine:  Paul,  one 
hundred  and  twelve.  Spooner  Ruggles,  Darius 
.\dams,  .Spencer  Post.  G.  A.  Sanford  and  Na- 
thaniel Loomis  were  elected  to  the  respective 
oftices. 

r.EWIS    KE.XT  :    TIIK   (INI.V    St..\\l-:    IN-    Tlir.   COU.VTY. 

Only  one  man  ever  lived  in  Winnebago  county 
as  a  slave.  His  name  w-as  Lewis  Kent,  although 
he  was  more  familiarly  known  as  Lewis  Lemon. 
In  1829,  wdien  Germanicus  Kent  was  a  citizen  of 
.\labama,  he  purchased  of  Orrin  Lemon  a  colored 
boy  named  Lewis.  He  was  born  in  North  Caro- 
lina, and  had  been  taken  by  his  master  to  Ala- 
bama. He  was  about  seventeen  years  old  at  the 
time  lie  was  sold  to  Mr.  Kent  for  four  hundred 
and  fifty  dollars  in  cash.  When  Mr.  Kent  de- 
cided to  remove  north,  he  jiroposed  to  sell  Lewis ; 
but  the  colored  man  preferred  his  old  master. 
.Mr.  Kent  made  an  agreement  with  I^ewis  when 
they  arrived  at  St.  Louis.  It  was  in  substance 
that  Lewis  should  pay  him  for  his  freedom  at 
the  expiration  of  six  years  and  seven  months, 
the  sum  of  eight  hundred  dollars,  with  ten  per 
cent,  interest.  Lewis  obtained  his  freedom,  how- 
ever, in  four  years  and  four  months.  On  the  6th 
day  of  .September.  1839,  Mr.  Kent  executed  and 
placed  in  the  hands  of  Lewis  a  deed  of  manu- 
mission. .At  a  session  of  the  county  commission- 
ers' court  held  in  March.  1842,  Mr.  Kent  filed  for 
record  the  instrument  which  officially  proclaimed 
Lewis  Kent  a  free  man.  The  transcript  of  this 
document,  which  is  on  file  in  the  county  clerk's 
oflfice.  is  the  only  evidence  in  Rockford  of  the 
existence  of  slavery,  and  that  one  of  its  victims 
Uere  found  freedom  and  a  home. 

.After  his  manumission  Lewis  obtained  some 
land,  and  earned  his  livelihood  by  the  cultivation 
of  garden  produce.  He  died  in  September,  1877. 
His  funeral  was  attended  by  nienibfr^  nf  tin-  OM 
Settlers'  Society. 

THE  POLISH   CLAIMS  DEL.W  L.VXD  PATENTS. 

Events  of  local  interest  occasionally  have  their 
historic  background  in  national  and  even  inter- 
national affairs.    A  notable  instance  was  the  cele- 


PAST     AND    PRESEXT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


49 


brated  Polish  claims  made  in  1836  to  a  portion 
of  the  territory  which  now  comprises  the  town- 
ships of  Rockford  and  Rockton.  It  is  one  of  the 
most  interesting  chapters  in  the  history  of  Win- 
nebago county.  Local  histories  have  briefly  re- 
ferred to  the  incident,  but  only  one  complete 
statement  of  the  affairs  has  previously  been  writ- 
ten. 

The  checkered  career  of  Poland  furnishes  the 
historic  background.  The  reader  of  history  will 
recall  the  Polish  rebellion  of  1830-31.  Previous 
to  that  time  her  territory  had  been  partitioned  be- 
tween Russia  and  other  powers.  The  impulse  to 
this  uprising  of  1830  was  given  by  the  French, 
and  was  begun  by  a  number  of  students,  who  pro- 
posed to  seize  the  Grand  Duke  Constantine  in  the 
vicinity  of  Warsaw.  The  city  and  the  troops  en- 
listed in  the  movement,  imder  the  command  of 
General  Chlopicki.  a  veteran  of  the  wars  of  Na- 
poleon. Upon  the  suppression  of  this  uprising 
in  the  following  year,  the  leaders  were  sent  into 
exile.  They  naturally  sought  refuge  in  this 
country. 

The  forlorn  condition  of  these  exiles  enlisted 
the  sympathy  of  the  American  people,  and  con- 
gress rendered  them  some  assistance.  An  act  was 
approved  June  30,  1834,  which  granted  to  these 
Polish  exiles,  two  hundred  and  thirty-five  in  num- 
ber, who  had  been  transported  to  this  country  by 
the  order  of  the  emperor  of  Austria,  thirty-six 
.sections  of  land.  These  sections  were  to  be  se- 
lected by  them,  under  the  direction  of  the  secre- 
tary of  the  treasury,  in  any  three  adjacent  town- 
ships of  the  public  lands,  surveyed  or  unsurveyed, 
in  the  state  of  Illinois  or  the  territory  of  Michi- 
gan. After  this  land  had  been  surveyed  it  became 
the  duty  of  the  secretary  of  the  treasury  to  divide 
the  thirty-six  sections  into  equal  parts,  and  to  dis- 
tribute them  by  lot  among  the  exiles.  They  were 
to  reside  upon  and  cultivate  these  lands  for  ten 
years,  and  at  the  expiration  of  this  time  they  were 
to  obtain  their  patents  upon  the  payment  of  the 
minimum  price  per  acre. 

The  exiles  arrived  in  America  in  1835,  and 
their  committee,  at  the  head  of  whom  was  Coimt 
Chlopicki,  arrived  in  Rockford  in  the  autumn  of 
the  following  year.  The  count  was  an  elderly 
gentleman,  well  informed,  and  apparently  an  ex- 
cellent judge  of  land.  Upon  his  arrival  in  the 
Rock  river  valley,  he  selected  townships  forty- 
four  and  forty-six,  range  one  east.  These  are 
Rockford  and  Rockton.  The  intervening  town- 
ship of  Owen  was  not  taken,  and  thus  was 
violated  one  of  the  provisions  of  the  grant,  which 
stipulated  that  the  land  should  be  selected  in  three 
adjacent  townships. 

Much  of  this  land  was  already  in  the  posses- 
sion of  American  citizens  when  the  count  arrived 
upon  the  scene.  They  had  only  a  squatter's  title, 
inasmuch  as  there  was  then  no  pre-emption  law 

4 


that  would  apply  in  this  case,  and  the  govern- 
ment had  not  placed  the  land  upon  the  market. 
The  settlers  had  enclosed  their  farms  and  made 
such  improvements  as  they  were  able.  More- 
over, the  several  Indian  "floats"  in  these  town- 
ships might  have  precedence  over  the  claims  of 
settlers  or  exiles.  But  these  facts  did  not  dis- 
turb the  plans  of  the  doughty  count.  He  dis- 
regarded the  squatter  rights  of  the  settlers,  and 
made  a  formal  selection  of  their  land,  and  re- 
ported his  choice  to  the  secretary  of  the  treasury. 

While  in  this  section  Count  Qilopicki  had  been 
a  guest  of  Germanicus  Kent.  That  gentleman 
explained  the  situation  to  his  visitor,  and  the  lat- 
ter declared  that  the  settlers  should  not  be  dis- 
turbed. He  thus  set  their  fears  at  rest  in  a 
measure.  But  these  assurances  were  not  entirely 
satisfactory,  and  after  the  count's  departure  a  sum 
of  money  was  raised  and  Mr.  Kent  was  sent  to 
Washington  to  make  further  inquiry.  The 
anxiety  of  the  settlers  was  increased  by  the  fact, 
as  already  stated,  that  they  held  no  titles  to  the 
land  upon  which  they  had  settled.  Upon  Mr. 
Kent's  arrival  in  Washington  he  found  that  his 
apprehensions  were  well  founded.  The  count  had 
not  kept  his  word ;  he  had  chosen  the  very  town- 
ships he  had  promised  Mr.  Kent  he  would  not 
select.  Mr.  Kent  went  directly  to  the  land  office 
and  made  his  complaint  before  the  commissioner ; 
but  he  was  told  that  every  settler  in  the  county 
was  a  trespasser,  and  that  he  had  no  legal  right 
to  a  foot  of  the  land  which  he  had  so  uncer- 
emoniously taken.  It  is  said  facts  are  stubborn 
things.  Mr.  Kent  and  the  settlers  knew  that  the 
commissioner  was  correct,  but  they  did  not  be- 
come alarmed.  Perhaps  they  thought  that  in 
union  there  was  strength.  The  secretary  of  the 
treasury  did  not,  however,  order  the  subdivision 
of  the  lands,  because  their  selection  by  the  Polish 
agent  was  not  in  compliance  with  the  law,  and 
thus  the  matter  rested  for  some  years. 

The  selection  of  these  lands  by  the  Polish 
agent,  while  squatters'  possession  was  held  by 
the  settlers,  complicated  the  whole  question  of 
titles.  The  settlers  had  certain  rights  in  equity, 
but  inasmuch  as  no  pre-emption  law  was  then  in 
force  that  would  bear  upon  the  case,  the  govern- 
ment did  not  at  that  time  formally  recognize  their 
claims.  In  view  of  this  fact,  it  is  not  a  matter 
of  surprise  that  the  Polish  count,  in  his  desire  to 
select  good  lands  for  his  exiled  countrymen, 
should  disregard  claims  that  the  government  did 
not  recognize.  Moreover  this  section  of  the  Rock 
river  vailey  had  been  framed  in  the  prodigality  of 
nature.  Its  soil  was  good,  its  atmosphere  in- 
vigorating, its  scenery  a  perpetual  delight.  The 
possession  of  such  land  always  promotes  domestic 
happiness  and  commercial  strength. 

The  lands  in  this  vicinity  belonged  at  that  time 
to  the  Galena  land  district,  and  with  the  excep- 


50 


PAST     AXn     TRESEXT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


ii..ii  ui  Kockfonl  aiul  Ruckton.  wi-re  opened  to 
sale  and  entry  in  the  autumn  of  1839.  These 
to\vnshi]>s.  whicli  inchided  the  thirty-six  sections 
in  controversy,  were  withheld  from  sale  for  nearly 
eig'ht  years  after  they  had  been  surveyed. 

Matters  continued   in   this  unsettled  condition 
until  1843.     In  tiie  meantime  the  land  office  had 
been  removed  to  Dixon,  through  the  influence  of 
John  Dixon,  who  settled  there  in  1830,  and  after 
whom  the  town  was  named.     In  1840  Mr.  Dixon 
went  til  W'asiiington,  and  ihroujjb  the  influence 
of  General   Scott  and   other  army  officers,   who 
were  his  ])ersonal  friends,  he  secured  the  removal 
of  the   government   land   office   from   Galena   to 
Dixon.     The  settlers  in  Kockford  could  not  pro- 
cure i)atents  of  the  lands  which  they  had  occupied 
for  some  \ears.     The  attention  of  congress  was 
repeatedly  called  to  the  situation.     The   settlers 
addressed  petitions  to  that  body  imtil  their  griev- 
ance  received  attention.     The   Polish  agent  had 
forfeited  his  claim  in  not  .selecting  his  lands  in 
three  adjacent  townships.     The  exiles  had  also 
forfeited  their  rights  in  not  making  an  actual  set- 
tlement on  the  lands.     Congress,  therefore,  April 
14.    1842.    passed    another    act,    authorizing    the 
entry  and  sale  of  these  lands  in  these  two  town- 
ships.    This  relief  was  due  in  large  measure  to 
the  efforts  of  Hon.  O.  H.  Smith,  of  Indiana  :  Hon. 
Robert  J.  Walker,  of  Mississipjii.  and  Hon.  Rich- 
ard M.  Young,  of  this  state,  senators  in  congress. 
When   the   settlers  had   been   finally   delivered 
from  their  dilemma  by  a  special  act  of  congress, 
thev  began  to  make  jireiiarations  to  perfect  their 
titles  to  their  lands.     The  inhabitants  petitioned 
the  president  for  a  public  sale.     Fifteen  months 
elapsed    before   their   ])elition    was   granted,    and 
October   30.    1843,   the   land   in   these  townships 
was   offered    for   sale,   and   was   sold    November 
3d.     It  was  the  most  notable  land  sale  that  ever 
occurred  in  the  district.     Rockford  had  been  in- 
corporated as  a  town  four  years  before.     Daniel 
S.   Haight   had  platted   the  East   side,   north   of 
State,  as    far  east  as   Longwood.  and   south   of 
.State  east  to  Kishwaukee.     .\  portion  of  this  had 
been  i)latteil  as  early  as   1836:  and   Mr.  Haight 
had  sold  the  lots  to  the  settlers  and  given  them 
quit-claim  deeds  to  the  same  several  years  before 
he  had  obtained  his  own  patent  from  the  govern- 
ment.     When   the   land   was   finally   offered    for 
sale  at  the  land  office,  Mr.  Haight  was  authorized 
to  go  to  Dixon  and  bid  in  the  entire  tract   for 
the    settlers.      A   committee,   appointed    for    this 
jiur|iiise,  prepared  a  list  of  names  to  whom  the 
rleeds  shiiuld  be  given  after  the  sale.     This  com- 
mittee consisted  of  Willard   Wheeler.   David   S. 
Penfield,     E.     H.     Potter,     of     Rockford.     and 
Nathaniel  Crosby,  of  Bclviderc.    This  committee 
was  in  session  several  days,  passed  upon  every 
lot  in  the  town  on  the  East  side,  and  decided  quite 
a  number  of  disputed  claims.     Mr.  Crosby  was 


not  present,  liut  it  was  understood  that  a  majority 
should  have  power  to  act.  Thus  a  number  of  the 
first  settlers  of  East  Rockford  purchased  their 
land  twice.  The  first  purchase  of  town  lots  was 
from  Mr.  Haight ;  the  second  was  made  through 
Mr.  Haight  as  agent,  from  the  general  govern- 
ment. Inasmuch,  however,  as  the  land  office  took 
no  notice  of  the  fad  that  the  land  had  been 
platted,  it  was  sold  at  the  usual  price  of  a  dollar 
and  a  quarter  per  acre.  The  second  purchase 
was  therefore  more  of  a  formality  than  an  ad- 
ditional burden.  With  the  land  sold  in  bulk,  at 
a  dollar  and  a  c|uarter  per  acre,  the  second  pur- 
chase of  a  town  lot,  from  the  government,  w'as 
at  a  nominal  ])rice.  merely  its  relative  value  to  an 
unplatted  acre  of  land.  This  second  purchase, 
however,  perfected  the  title. 

At  this  point  it  may  be  necessary  to  state  that 
Mr.  Haight's  first  sales  of  land  were  perfectly 
legitimate  transactions.  The  ])urchasers  knew  at 
the  time  that  a  second  purchase  would  be  neces- 
sary to  procure  a  perfect  title.  There  was  re- 
centlv  found  among  some  old  pa])ers  of  the  late 
Francis  r>urna|)  a  list  of  the  town  lots  in  East 
Rockford  and  the  names  of  the  persons  to  whom 
the  deeds  should  be  given  after  the  land  sale.  The 
document  comprises  seventeen  pages  of  legal  cap, 
and  is  jierfectly  preserved.  .\t  the  same  sale  at 
Dixon  the  land  on  the  west  side  of  the  river  was 
bid  in  for  the  settlers  by  Ephraim  W'yman.  The 
\\"est  side  committee  was  composed  of  G.  .\.  San- 
ford.  Derastus  Harper,  and  George  Haskell.  The 
certificates  of  title  were  turned  over  to  Mr.  Wy- 
man  by  the  committee.  When  Mr.  Wyman  went  to 
California,  about  1850.  these  certificates  were  left 
in  a  trunk,  in  charge  of  G.  A.  San  ford.  During 
Mr.  \\'yman's  absence  they  were  totally  destroyed 
by  rodents :  and  these  facts  are  set  forth  with 
grave  precision  by  Mr.  Wyman.  in  a  certificate, 
duplicates  of  which  are  on  file  in  the  abstract 
offices  of  this  city. 

Thus  for  a  period  of  nine  years  from  Mr. 
Kent's  settlement  were  the  early  residents  of 
Rockford  and  Rockton  unable  to  obtain  titles  to 
the  lands  which  lluy  had  selected  and  improved, 
bv  reason  of  the  illegal  intrusion  of  an  exiled 
Polish  count.  The  seijuel  is  one  of  those  facts 
that  is  stranger  than  fiction.  Only  one  of  those 
exiles  ever  subsequently  appeared  in  Rockford  or 
WinnelKigo  countv.  He  was  emi)loyed  for  a  time 
as  a  cook,  in  1837,  by  Henry  Thurston,  the  land- 
lord of  the  old  Rockford  House.  The  later  history 
of  the  exiles  is  unknown. 

Mr.  Haight's  plat  of  East  Rockford  was  filed 
for  record  November  7.  1843,  four  days  after  the 
land  sale.  The  east  part  of  the  original  town  of 
Rockford,  west  of  Rock  river,  included  all  that 
part  of  the  city  lying  south  of  a  line  drawn 
from  the  Beattie  residence  west  to  the  property 
now  occupied  by  the  Ziock  flats,  and  east  of  a 


PAST  AXD  PRESEXT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


51 


line  drawn  from  the  latter  point  to  the  west 
end  of  the  Chicago  &  Northwestern  railroad 
bridge.  It  was  platted  by  Duncan  Ferguson,  No- 
vember 9,  1843.  ^id  filed  for' record  by  Ephraim 
Wyman,  November  28,  1843. 

J.  W.  Leavitt's  town  plat  included  all  that  part 
of  West  Rockford  situated  between  Wynian"s  plat 
on  the  east,  and  Kent's  creek  on  the  west  and 
south.  This  plat  was  made  August  17,  1844. 
and  filed  for  record  October  5.  1844. 

THE    FIRST    DAJ[. 

The  attempt  to  utilize  the  water-power  was  the 
first  step  in  the  transition  of  Rockford  from  a 
hamlet  to  a  manufacturing  city.  February  28, 
1843.  'I"  '^ct  of  the  legislature  was  approved,  to 
improve  the  navigation  of  the  rapids  in  Rock 
river  at  Rockford,  and  to  incorporate  the  Rock- 
ford Hydraulic  and  Manufacturing  Company. 
The  corporation  was  given  power  to  construct  a 
dam  across  the  river,  which  should  raise  the  water 
not  more  than  seven  feet.  The  company  was 
also  required  to  erect  and  maintain  such  locks  as 
might  be  necessary  for  the  passage  of  steamboats 
drawing  three  feet  of  water.  At  that  time  the 
navigation  of  Rock  river  was  an  open  question, 
and  the  government  might  assert  its  control  of 
the  river  as  a  navigable  stream.  A  dam  would 
obstruct  navigation :  hence  the  company  was  re- 
quired to  construct  locks  for  the  passage  of  boats, 
whenever  they  should  become  necessary.  The  law 
specified  the  rates  of  toll  which  the  company 
should  be  entitled  to  collect  for  the  passage  of 
boats  through  the  locks  ;  and  it  was  given  power 
to  detain  such  craft  until  the  toll  should  be  paid. 
Daniel  S.  Haight,  Germanicus  Kent.  Samuel  D. 
Preston,  Laomi  Peake,  Charles  I.  Horsman, 
George  Haskell  and  J.  C.  Goodhue  were  ap- 
pointed commissioners  to  receive  subscriptions  to 
the  stock.  The  capital  stock  was  placed  at  fifty 
thousand  dollars,  divided  into  five  hundred  shares 
of  one  hundred  dollars  each.  The  corporation 
was  given  power  to  increase  its  capital  stock  to 
an}-  sum  not  exceeding  two  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  dollars.  The  law  expressly  provided 
that  the  state  might,  at  any  time  after  the  con- 
struction of  the  dam  and  locks,  assume  the  owner- 
ship of  the  same :  the  state,  however,  was  to  keep 
them  in  good  repair.  All  the  hydraulic  power 
was  to  remain  absolutely  the  property  of  the  com- 
pany. July  22.  1843,  books  were  opened  for  sub- 
scriptions to  the  capital  stock.  By  an  act  of  the 
legislature,  approved  February  11,  1845,  the  law 
of  1843  was  amended. 

In  the  spring  of  1844  the  Rockford  Hydraulic 
Company  was  fully  organized.  The  dam  was 
located  a  few  rods  above  the  present  water-works. 
Directly  above,  the  main  channel  of  the  stream 
shifted  abruptly  from  the  east  to  the  west  shore. 


On  the  east  side,  at  the  site  of  the  dam,  the  water 
for  two-thirds  the  width  of  the  stream,  was  about 
three  feet  deep  in  summer,  with  eight  or  nine  feet 
in  the  channel.  This  site  for  the  dam  was  chosen 
because  it  was  generally  believed  that  if  the  dam 
were  located  at  the  head  of  the  rapids,  the  town 
would  be  built  there.  Had  the  dam  been  built  at 
the  ford,  on  the  rock  bottom,  it  would  have  re- 
quired a  larger  outlay  of  cash.  This  article  was 
scarce,  while  timber,  brush,  stone  and  earth  were 
abundant. 

Edward  S.  Hanchett.  of  Freeport,  had  charge 
of  the  construction  of  the  dam  when  it  was  com- 
menced. He  abandoned  the  work  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  C.  C.  Coburn.  Eighty  acres  of  the  best 
timber  land  were  stripped  of  material  to  build  the 
(lam  and  repair  the  breaks.  This  brush  dam  was 
built  to  a  level  with  the  banks.  A  frame-work 
was  then  raised  on  the  brush,  to  which  plank  was 
spiked.  The  work  of  graveling  then  began.  The 
rock  and  gravel  were  obtained  along  the  bank  of 
the  river  from  sixty  to  eighty  rods  above  the  dam. 
There  were  head-gates  at  either  end,  built  high 
above  the  comb  of  the  dam,  with  gates  which 
opened  like  the  gates  of  a  lock  on  a  canal,  wide 
enough  for  the  passage  of  steamboats.  At  each 
side  of  these  gates  were  openings  to  admit  the 
water  to  the  races,  which  carried  it  to  the  mills 
below.  As  the  water  raised  on  the  brush,  the 
fish,  coming  down  the  river,  would  lodge  on  the 
dam  during  the  night ;  and  in  the  morning  the 
people  would  get  sturgeon,  pickerel,  black  bass 
and  catfish.  The  dam  was  completed  in  the 
autumn  of  1845.  I"  '*^s  issue  of  September  24th 
the  Forum  said :  "As  we  hear  the  roaring  sound 
of  the  falling  waters  (which  can  now  on  a  still 
morning  be  heard  for  several  miles  arovmd)  daily 
increasing  in  strength  and  power,  as  the  sheet  of 
water  becomes  thicker  and  heavier,  as  the  dam  is 
made  closer  and  tighter,  we  cannot  but  realize 
more  forcibly  the  immense  influence  which  these 
hydraulic  works  are  to  exert  upon  our  town  and 
country  if  the  dam  remains  firm  and  pennanent." 

The  mill-race  on  the  east  side  extended  to  Wal- 
nut street,  and  was  twenty  feet  in  width.  At 
the  end  of  the  race  Gregory.  Phelps  &  Daniels 
had  a  sawmill.  At  the  south  side  of  State  street 
was  Nettleton's  gristmill,  the  first  in  Rockford, 
which  was  started  in  1846.  Just  below  James  B. 
Howell  operated  carding  and  fulling  machinery. 
WHieeler  &  Lyon"s  sawmill  was  at  Walnut  street. 
The  race  on  the  west  side  was  about  fifteen  rods 
in  length.  At  the  head  Thomas  D.  Robertson  and 
Charles  I.  Horsman  built  a  sawmill.  Just  below, 
Orlando  Clark  had  an  iron  foundry  in  a  stone 
building.  It  is  significant  that  three  of  these  six 
plants  were  sawmills.  Pine  lumber  had  not  come 
into  general  use,  and  the  only  available  material 
for  frame  dwellings  were  the  trees  of  the  ad- 
jacent forests. 


PAST     AXl)     I'RKSlvXT     ( M^     WIXXKliAGU     tOL.XTV. 


April  j8.  184^1.  tlu'  west  end  of  tlie  dam  went 
out.  About  two  hundred  feet,  includintj  tlie  Inilk- 
liead,  were  swept  away,  and  more  tlian  an  acre 
of  ground  was  washed  out.  The  Mydrauhc  Com- 
pany imniecHately  decided  to  repair  the  dam,  and 
the  work  was  completed  duriufj  the  year. 

March  20,  1847,  the  dam  ^'dve  away  at  the 
east  entl,  and  carried  away  the  sawmill  of  Gre- 
gory. Phel])s  &  Daniels.  About  one  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  of  the  dani  were  washed  out  at  this  time. 
This  break  was  re])aired  by  Mr.  Xcttleton. 
rhel|>s  and  Daniels  sold  tlieir  interest  in  the 
wrecked  sawmill  to  Lewis  H.  Gregory  and  A.  C. 
.'^|)alTord,  who  rebuilt  it.  The  mills  then  had 
good  water-power  until  June  i,  185 1,  when  the 
entire  dam  went  out.  breaking  away  at  the  west 
bidkhead.  Several  changes  on  the  East  side  then 
followe<l.  Mr.  Howell  renuivecl  his  carding  ma- 
chine to  Xew  Mil  ford,  where  he  remained  until 
the  next  year,  when  he  returned  to  Rockford.  to 
the  West  side,  just  below  the  I'.artlett  flouring 
mills.  Wheeler  &  Lyon's  mill  was  removed 
across  the  race  near  Joseph  Rodd's  mill,  and 
became  a  part  of  his  plant. 

In  February,  1849,  the  legislature  provided  for 
the  improvement  of  the  navigation  of  Rock  river, 
and  for  the  ])roduction  of  hydraulic  power,  under 
a  general  law.  It  ap]iears  liy  an  entry  on  the 
county  records,  that  under  tliis  law  the  company 
filed  a  certificate  of  incoqioration  .\i)ril  13.  1849, 
before  the  abandonment  of  the  enterjirise.  The 
organization  of  the  present  water-power  com- 
pany, two  years  later,  will  he  considered  in 
later  paragraphs. 

I'OST.MASTF.R.S  OF  KOCKFOKO. 

The  early  official  records  of  the  postoffice  de- 
I)artment  at  Washington  are  very  meagre.  There 
arc  no  local  records,  as  these  arc  supposed  to  be 
kept  at  Washington.  In  1890  Hon.  Robert  R. 
Hitt  addressed  a  letter  to  Hon.  John  Wanamaker, 
who  was  then  postmaster-general,  asking  for  in- 
formation upon  this  subject.  That  official  re- 
plied that  the  records  were  incomplete  during  the 
early  history  of  the  service,  and  he  could  only 
give  the  time  of  appointment  and  resignation  of 
the  first  postmaster.  The  later  information  has 
been  obtained  from  the  files  of  the  Rockford 
newspa|)ers  in  the  jiublic  library.  This  is  the  only 
source  from  which  the  facts  given  in  these  para- 
graphs could  he  secured.  The  research  involved 
considerable  time  and  labor,  and  it  is  impossible 
to  give  the  e.xact  date  upon  which  the  com- 
missions were  issued. 

Daniel  S.  Haight  was  tlie  first  postmaster.  His 
commission  was  dated  .'\ugust  31,  1837.  and  he 
served  until  May,  1R41. 

The  first  mail  arrived  about  September  15th. 
J'revious  to  this  time  the  small  packages  of  mail 


had  been  brought  from  Oiicago  by  parties  who 
matle  trii)s  to  that  city  for  sujiplies.  An  order 
for  mail  ujjon  the  jjostmaster  at  that  office,  to 
which  each  man  attached  his  name,  was  left  at 
Mr.  Haight's  house.  The  first  mail  was  brought 
on  horseback,  the  second  by  a  carrier,  and  the 
third  by  open  wagon  with  two  horses.  .After  the 
postoffice  had  been  established,  the  contract  for 
carrying  the  mail  was  made  with  John  D.  Win- 
ters. .Vhout  this  time  Winters  became  associated 
with  Frink.  Walker  &  Co.  Still  later  Winters 
was  on  the  line  west  from  Rockford,  and  finally 
Frink,  Walker  &  Co.  carried  the  mail  on  the 
through  line.  Previous  to  January,  1838,  the 
mail  arrived  from  Chicago  once  a  week.  In 
1831J-40  the  mails  arrived  from  the  west  and  east 
each  three  times  a  week.  The  northern  and  the 
southern  mails  came  once  a  week  :  the  mail  from 
Mineral  Point  arrived  on  Saturday,  and  the  mail 
from  Coltonville  caiuc  on  Wednesday. 

The  first  mail,  in  September,  arrived  with  no 
key,  an(^  it  was  returned  unopened.  When  the 
second  mail  arrived  a  key  had  been  providetl,  but 
the  postmaster  was  not  equal  to  the  combination, 
and  he  turned  it  over  to  Giles  C.  Hard,  who 
solved  the  pmblem.  Its  contents,  about  a  hatful, 
were  received  with  a  general  handshaking.  The 
postage  was  twenty-five  cents  for  each  letter,  and 
stamps  were  unknown.  Mr.  Haight  erected  a 
small  building  sixteen  by  twenty-six  feet,  one 
and  a  half  story,  in  the  summer  of  1837,  for  a 
jiostoffice,  near  107  South  Madison  street.  There 
were  about  twenty-five  boxes.  This  building  was 
used  until  the  following  year  when  Mr.  Haight 
erected  a  more  conunodious  structure  near  312 
East  State  street  with  ante-room  and  boxes.  This 
building  was  used  for  this  purpose  during  sev- 
eral   adiuinstrations. 

Mr.  Haight  was  succeeded  by  Edward  War- 
ren, a  brother  of  Mrs.  Cliarles  H.  SpafTord.  Mr. 
Warren  served  until  August,  1841. 

Selden  M.  Church  was  the  tliird  postmaster, 
and  served  two  years,  when  he  was  removed. 
The  announcement  of  this  change  was  made  in 
three  lines  by  the  Rockford  Forum.  In  the  en- 
tire history  of  Rockford  there  is  nothing  more 
marked  than  the  evolution  of  its  newspapers  from 
the  most  primitive  sort  to  the  present  daily  of 
luetropolitau  proportions. 

In  .\ugust,  1843,  Charles  IT.  Spafford  was  ap- 
])ninted  postmaster.  There  is  a  tradition  that  Mr. 
Church  was  f|uite  active  in  obtaining  the  office ; 
and,  to  balance  the  account,  Mr.  Warren,  who  was 
not  lacking  in  influence,  used  it  in  securing  the 
appointment  for  his  brother-in-law.  The  late 
Mrs.  Spafford  recalled  interesting  reminiscences 
of  those  davs.  She  says :  "The  postoffice  busi- 
ness was  not  large  at  that  time :  there  were  no 
clerks.  The  mail  came  at  night  and  re(|uired  the 
postmaster  to  get  out  at  midnight  or  very  early 


PAST     AND    PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


53 


morning-  to  change  tlie  mail.  \\'liat  seems  more 
strange,  the  postoffice  money  was  kept  at  the 
house  in  my  dressing  bureau.  Mr.  Spafford  was 
accustomed  to  come  home  late  in  the  evening, 
bringing  a  bag  of  money.  In  those  times  of  burg- 
laries all  this  occasioned  me  a  good  deal  of 
anxiety,  as  I  was  alone  so  much  of  the  time  when 
Mr.  SpaiTord  was  at  the  office :  especially  as 
houses  were  not  securely  built  in  those  days.  I 
was  not  sorry  when  the  robber  band  that  had  been 
committing  the  burglaries  around  were  secured 
and  taken  to  Joliet." 

In  Jidy,  1845,  Charles  I.  Horsman  received  the 
appointment.  Two  years  before,  in  1843,  Mr. 
Horsman  erected  a  small  structure  at  306  West 
State  street.  It  was  occupied  by  Colonel  James 
W.  Taylor  as  a  dry  goods  store,  and  was  the  first 
building  erected  on  West  State  street  for  busi- 
ness purposes.  In  the  following  year  he  pur- 
chased the  stock  of  Mr.  Taylor,  and  sold  dry 
goods  himself.  In  1845  li*?  built  a  wing.  No. 
306^,  and  moved  the  postoffice  into  it  from  the 
East  side.  The  jealousy  between  the  two  sides 
of  the  river  was  very  acute,  and  ^Ir.  Horsman 
was  obliged  to  move  his  fixtures  across  the  river 
in  the  night.  This  building  with  others  adjoin- 
ing was  removed,  in  1873,  to  make  room  for  the 
present  brick  block,  which  is  still  owned  by  the 
Horsman  estate.  The  postoffice  remained  at 
306^^  West  State  street  during  ^iFr.  Horsman's 
term  of  office. 

Buel  G.  Wheeler  was  appointed  postmaster  in 
May,  1849,  and  served  four  years.  Mr.  Wheeler 
removed  the  postoffice  to  the  East  Side,  into  the 
building  which  had  been  occupied  by  the  first 
postmaster,  and  stood  on  the  west  side  of  South 
^Madison  street. 

In  June,  1853,  C.  I.  Horsman  received  a  second 
appointment,  and  served  until  i8v-  He  removed 
the  office  to  the  building  on  West  State  street, 
from  which  it  had  been  taken  by  ]\Ir.  Wheeler 
four  years  previous.  The  postoffice  has  remained 
on  the  West  side  for  the  past  forty-eight  years. 

G.  F.  Hambright  succeeded  Mr.  Horsman  in 
March,  1857,  and  held  the  office  four  years.  He 
removed  the  office  into  the  new  Holland  House 
block,  which  had  been  completed  the  vear  before. 
The  office  occupied  the  corner  ground  floor. 

Melancthon  Smith  was  commissioned  by  Presi- 
dent Lincoln  in  1861.  Mr.  Smith  subsequently 
enlisted  in  the  service  of  his  country,  and  went  to 
the  front  with  the  Forty-fifth  Illinois  regiment. 
June  25,  1863,  Colonel  Smith  was  mortally 
wounded  at  the  storming  of  a  fort  at  \'icksburg 
by  General  Logan's  division.  He  lingered  three 
days  in  a  state  of  half-consciousness,  and  died 
Sunday  morning,  June  28th,  in  the  thirty-sixth 
year  of  his  age. 

After  Colonel  Smith's  death  the  local 
politicians  supported  David  T.  Dixon  as  the  logi- 


cal candidate  for  his  successor  in  the  postoffice. 
.\  ]H'tition,  however,  was  numerously  signed  by 
the  citizens,  asking  for  the  appointment  of  Mrs. 
Smith.  Melancthon  Starr,  who  was  a  cousin  of 
Colonel  Smith,  went  to  Washington  and  presented 
the  matter  to  President  Lincoln.  The  president 
endorsed  her  application,  and  sent  a  letter  to  the 
postmaster-general,  of  which  the  following  is  a 
copy : 

"Executive  ^Mansion,  Washington,  July  24, 
1863. — Hon.  Postmaster-General:  Yesterday  lit- 
tle indorsements  of  mine  went  to  you  in  two  cases 
of  postmastershi]is  sought  for  widows  whose  hus- 
bands have  fallen  in  the  battles  of  this  war.  These 
cases  occurring  on  the  same  day  brought  me  to 
reflect  more  attentively  than  I  have  before  done, 
as  to  what  is  fairly  due  from  us  here  in  the  dis- 
pensing of  patronage  toward  the  men  who,  fight- 
ing our  battles,  bear  the  chief  burden  of  saving 
our  country.  My  conclusion  is  that  other  claims 
and  qualifications  being  equal,  they  have  the  bet- 
ter right,  and  this  is  especially  applicable  to  the 
disabled  soldier  and  the  deceased  soldier's  family. 
"Your  obedient  servant, 

A.  Lincoln." 

Mrs.  Smith  accordingly  received  the  appoint- 
ment, and  completed  the  term.  Mrs.  Smith  be- 
came the  wife  of  General  A.  L.  Chetlain,  of  Chi- 
cago. She  is  a  sister  of  Mrs.  Julia  A.  Clemens, 
of  Rockford. 

Mrs.  Smith  was  succeeded  by  the  Hon.  Anson 
S.  Miller,  who  assumed  the  duties  April  I,  1865. 
Judge  Miller  removed  the  postoffice  from  the 
Holland  House  to  the  Brown's  hall  block.  He 
retained  the  office  six  years. 

In  1 87 1  Charles  H.  Spafford  was  appointed 
postmaster  and  served  four  years. 

February  20,  1875,  President  Grant  sent  to  the 
senate  the  name  of  Abraham  E.  Smith,  editor  of 
the  Rockford  Gazette,  for  postmaster  at  Rock- 
ford.  Mr.  Smith  was  confirmed  February  24: 
received  his  commission  March  23,  and  assumed 
the  duties  of  the  office  April  i.  In  December, 
1875,  Mr.  Smith  removed  the  postoffice  to  that 
part  of  the  block  on  the  river  bank  now  occupied 
by  the  Register-Gazette. 

The  choice  of  a  successor  to  Air.  Smith  was 
informally  determined  by  a  direct  popular  vote  of 
the  citizens.  ^Mr.  Smith  was  a  candidate  for  re- 
appointment, but  he  refused  to  go  before  the 
people.  Saturday,  December  21,  1878,  a  special 
election  was  held.  Israel  Sovereign  received  214 
votes :  Thomas  G.  Lawler,  i  ,689  votes :  a  ma- 
jority  for  the  latter  of  1,475.  The  name  of  Col- 
onel Lawler  was  sent  to  the  senate  by  President 
Hayes,  February  19,  1879,  He  was  confirmed 
Febrrarv  22.  and  began  the  duties  of  the  office 
Alarch  15.  Colonel  Lawler  was  reappointed  by 
President  Arthur. 

October    5,    1885,    considerably    more    than    a 


54 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


year  before  llie  expiration  of  Colonel  Lawler's 
second  term.  President  Cleveland  a]i])()inled  John 
D.  Waterman  as  postmaster,  and  he  began  his 
duties  November  2d.  Mr.  Waterman's  term  e.x- 
pired  during'  the  administration  of  President  Har- 
rison, and  Colonel  l-awler  was  reinstated.  When 
(Jrover  Cleveland  was  elected  president  a  second 
time  he  again  appointed  .Mr.  Waterman.  His 
name  was  sent  to  the  senate  Decemlxr  19,  1893. 
and  continued  January  8,  1894.  With  the  ad- 
vent of  William  McKinlcy  to  the  presidency. 
Colonel  Lawler  was  again  a])pointed  and  still 
holds  the  office.  His  nomination  was  sent  to  the 
senate  by  President  McKinky.  January  13.  1898. 
Colonel  Pawler  has  the  uiii(|ue  distinction  of  re- 
ceiving commissions  as  ])ostmaster  of  Rockford 
signed  by  five  presidents  of  the  United  States : 
Rutherford  li.  Hayes,  Chester  A.  Arthur, 
lienjamin  Harrison.  William  McKinley  and 
Theodore  Roosevelt.  Thus  for  a  period  of  nearly 
twenty-six  years  the  postmastershii)  has  see- 
-sawed  between  Thomas  G.  Lawler  and  John  D. 
Watemian. 

I'Ved  Wheat  is  a  veteran  in  the  postal  service. 
He  first  entered  the  local  office  in  .\pril,  1866. 
There  was  an  interval  of  fourteen  years  when  he 
was  in  the  railway  mail  service.  He  then  re- 
turned to  the  city  office,  where  he  has  since  re- 
mained. Mr.  \Vheat  has  been  assistant  post- 
master since  1889. 

The  government  building  was  authorized  by 
act  of  congress  apjiroved  February  9.  1891.  and 
was  appropriated  for  by  act  of  March  3.  1891. 
It  is  located  on  the  southwest  corner  of  Alain  and 
Green  streets.  The  land  was  secured  by  pur- 
chase February  2,  1892,  for  the  sum  of  $17,500. 
The  building  was  completed  and  occupied  Octo- 
ber I.  i8<>3.  The  cost  of  construction  was  $82,- 
169.14.  It  is  constructed  of  Portage  red  sand- 
stone and  coiuaius  a  space  of  186.000  cubic  feet. 

The  Rockford  postoffice  now  gives  emplov- 
nient  to  sixty-three  men.  There  are  eleven  rural 
free  delivery  routes.  Hy  the  extension  of  this 
system  the  postoffices  at  Elida,  Wcmpleton  and 
Latham  Park  have  been  discontinued. 


oKc.x.Niz.vriox  OF  riiK  umvkksai.ist  ciiuRcn. 

The  Unitarian  church  did  not  at  first  in- 
clude all  the  adherents  of  a  liberal  Christian  faith. 
At  a  meeting  held  in  the  brick  schoolhouse,  in 
Fast  Rockford.  .\i)ril  24,  1841.  a  Universalist 
church  was  organized  by  the  election  of  Daniel 
S.  Haight,  I*>.ra  Dorman  and  Thomas  Thatcher 
as  trustees.  This  election  was  recorded  in  the 
recorder's  office,  as  provided  by  law'.  It  is  not 
probable  that  the  official  records  of  this  church 
have  been  preserved.  It  is  known;  however,  that 
j)rcaching  services  were  held  at  the  courthouse 
on  the  Fast  side,  and  at  the  schoolhouse  a  por- 


tion of  the  tiiuc  during  the  next  ensuing  few 
months. 

In  1841  the  Universalists  were  sufficiently 
strong  to  consider  the  erection  of  a  house  of 
worship.  In  those  days  the  citizens  regarded  any 
church,  of  whatever  name,  as  a  factor  in  pro- 
moting the  general  welfare  of  the  vill.ige.  Hence 
the  name  of  a  generous.  ])ul)lic-s])iriteil  citizen 
would  be  found  among  the  contributors  to  the 
support  of  liberal  and  orthodox  churches  alike. 
The  original  subscription  list  for  the  Universalist 
church  which  is  still  extant,  is  an  interesting 
document.  .Mr.  Haight  gave  a  lot  which  he 
valued  at  one  hundred  dollars  ;  the  same  amount 
in  carpenter's  and  joiner's  work  ;  "forty-two  sleep- 
ers in  my  wood-lot  near  Rockford.  seventeen  feet 
long,  at  three  cents  per  foot,  twenty-one  dollars 
and  forty-two  cents :"  and  fifty  dollars  in  money. 
.Almost  the  entire  subscri])tions  are  in  work  or 
material.  William  W'orthington  subscril^ed  ten 
dollars  in  blacksmith's  work ;  Charles  Latimer, 
twenty  dollars,  how  i)aid  is  not  stated ;  A.  M. 
Catlin.  in  produce  fir  building  material,  twenty- 
five  dollars;  J.  M.  Wight,  one  thousand  feet  of 
lumber  at  Stokes  &  Jewett's  mill,  twelve  dollars. 

On  Thursday,  July  22.  1841,  the  corner-stone 
of  the  Universalist  church  was  laid  on  a  site  near 
the  East  side  public  S(|uare.  The  large  assem- 
blage included  peoj^le  of  other  denominations. 
Prayer  was  offered  hy  Rev.  Mr.  \'an  .Mstine,  and 
a  discourse  was  delivered  by  Rev.  Seth  Piarnes. 
This  structure  was  never  comjileted.  .\  stranger, 
in  jjassing  the  unfinished  building,  intiuired  of 
Dr.  George  Haskell  concerning  its  ])urpose.  The 
doctor  replied  that  it  was  an  "insurance  policy 
again.st  hell-fire."  .Xll  the  original  supporters  of 
this  project  are  gone :  and  not  even  tradition  has 
given  the  cause  for  its  sudden  abandonment. 
Thus  the  Unitarian  church  became  the  one  liberal 
household  of  faith. 


FIRST   BRIDGE. 

Ten  years  elajised  from  the  first  settlement  of 
the  village  before  Rock  river  was  spanned  by  a 
bridge  at  Rockfonl.  .\  bill  had  passeil  the  legis- 
lature, aiijiroved  I'ebruary  27,  1843,  aiuhorizing 
Daniel  S.  Haight,  S.  D.  Preston.  Charles  I.  Hors- 
man.  and  their  associates  to  build  a  bridge.  When 
coiui)leted  in  a  manner  so  as  not  to  obstruct  the 
navigation  of  the  river,  and  accepted  by  the 
countv  commissioners'  court,  it  was  to  be  a  public 
highway,  anil  kept  in  repair  by  the  county.  Piut 
nothing  was  done  until  nearly  one  year  later,  when 
the  construction  of  the  county  buildings  on  the 
West  side  emphasized  this  need  to  the  citizens  of 
the  East  side,  where  the  courts  had  been  held. 
The  entire  i)eo]iIe  felt  that  a  bridge  must  be 
built,  although  few  had  means  enough  to  con- 
duct their  own  business  successfullv.    Citizens  of 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


55 


the  West  side,  including-  the  country  west  of  the 
village,  had  built  the  courthouse  and  jail  without 
a  dollar's  expense  to  their  neighbors  on  the  east 
side  of  the  river.  But  the  progressive  citizens 
were  willing  to  assume  another  burden.  At  a 
meeting  held  in  December,  1843,  a  committee  con- 
sisting" of  E.  H.  Potter,  D.  Howell,  Willard 
Wheeler,  C.  I.  Horsman  and  G.  A.  Sanford, 
were  appointed  to  solicit  subscriptions.  A  per- 
sistent efifort  throughout  the  county  secured 
pledges  to  warrant  the  construction  of  an  oak 
lattice  bridge.  All  the  money  raised  at  this  time 
was  by  subscriptions.  The  most  liberal  con- 
tributors were  Frink,  Walker  &  Co.,  the  stage 
proprietors.  January  22,  1844.  the  committee  let 
the  contract  to  Derastus  Harper.  This  gentle- 
man was  a  competent  workman.  He  subsequently 
went  to  Cliicago.  became  the  city  engineer,  and 
designed  the  first  pivot  bridge  across  the  Chicago 
river.  The  lumber  was  cut  from  trees  on  gov- 
ernment land  on  Pecatonica  river,  rafted  down 
the  Rock,  and  sawed  at  Mr.  Kent's  mill.  The 
covering  for  the  lattice  was  basswood  boards,  cut 
from  logs  in  Mr.  Blake's  grove,  and  sawed  at 
Kent's  mill.  C.  I.  Horsman  and  William  G. 
Ferguson  drew  the  logs.  By  August  or  Septem- 
ber, Mr.  Harper  had  sufficient  material  on  hand 
to  commence  laying  the  bridge.  This  was  done 
nearly  in  the  rear  of  the  Masonic  Temple  site,  on 
the  piece  of  level  bottom.  The  bridge  was  of 
three  strings  of  lattice-work,  made  from  oak 
planks,  fastened  with  oak  pins.  There  was  no 
iron  in  the  structure,  except  the  nails  that  held 
the  half-inch  basswood  boards  which  covered  the 
lattice  when  the  structure  was  completed.  There 
were  stone  abutments  on  either  shore.  Christmas 
night,  1844,  the  lattice  was  in  place  a  distance  of 
about  seventy  feet  from  the  west  shore,  supported 
by  temporary  trestles.  Ice  formed  about  the 
trestles  from  the  west  shore.  The  water  arose 
and  lifted  the  entire  structure,  including  the 
trestles,  when  it  toppled  over  with  a  crash.  The 
pride  and  fond  anticipations  of  the  village  went 
out  with  it.  Such  discouragement  is  seldom  de- 
picted on  the  faces  of  the  entire  community.  x\ll 
shared  in  the  disappointment :  but  the  energies  of 
the  citizens  were  not  easily  foiled.  A  united 
efifort  was  made  in  a  short  time,  and  promises 
were  again  secured.  The  abutments,  piers  and 
one  section  were  left,  and  some  of  the  material 
was  saved  which  had  floated  down  stream.  The 
fallen  lattice  was  taken  from  the  water,  and  each 
plank  numbered  with  red  chalk  ;  and  excepting  a 
few  that  were  splintered,  thev  were  again  placed 
in  proper  order.  After  the  ice  went  out  in  March, 
1845,  the  structure  was  again  raised,  without  ac- 
cident. Cheerfulness  and  hopefulness  assumed  full 
sway  :  and  after  many  discouragements  the  bridge 
was  open  for  travel.  Julv  4,  1843.  It  was  a  time 
of  great  rejoicing.     The  public-spirited   citizens 


of  Rockford  felt  that  Independence  Day  had  been 
properly  celebrated.  When  the  last  plank  had 
been  laid  E.  H.  Potter  mounted  a  horse  and  was 
the  first  man  to  ride  across  the  bridge.  It  was 
estimated  that  two  thousand  people  crossed  the 
bridge  that  day.  There  were  two  roadways, 
separated  by  the  centre  lattice,  which  projected 
about  five  feet  above  the  planking. 

Perhaps  no  other  public  improvement  in  Rock- 
ford  ever  so  tested  the  courage  and  financial 
strength  of  the  community.  The  burden  fell 
heavily  upon  the  committee.  The  contract  with 
Mr.  Harper  was  for  five  thousand  and  five  hun- 
dred dollars.  A  financial  statement,  made  July 
15,  1845,  showed  that  only  two  thousand  eight 
hundred  and  forty-seven  dollars  and  ninety  cents 
had  been  collected.  The  committee  had  borrowed 
five  hundred  dollars  on  their  personal  credit,  for 
which  they  were  paying  twelve  per  cent.  There 
was  also  a  balance  due  Mr.  Harper  of  one  thou- 
sand two  hundred  and  ninety-seven  dollars.  The 
bridge  served  its  day  and  generation  very  well, 
but  it  was  subject  to  many  calamities.  The  dam 
broke  three  times  after  the  bridge  was  completed. 
When  the  west  end  broke  in  April,  1846,  the 
pressure  of  the  water  on  the  upper  side  of  the 
center  and  principal  pier  removed  the  foundation 
on  that  side  and  settled  the  bridge  in  the  center 
of  the  up-stream  side  nearlv  to  the  water,  and 
gave  it  the  appearance  of  being  twisted  nearly 
one-fourth  around.  The  bridge  stood  in  this 
])osition  for  some  months,  when  a  contract  was 
made  with  William  Ward  to  raise  it  into  position. 
The  bridge  sustained  some  injury  when  the  east- 
ern portion  of  the  dam  broke  in  April,  1847.  On 
the  25th  of  February  preceding  a  law  of  the  legis- 
lature had  been  approved,  providing  for  a  special 
tax  to  be  levied  upon  the  taxable  property  of 
Rockford  precinct,  for  the  purpose  of  repairing 
and  maintaining  the  bridge,  and  for  the  payment 
of  the  debt  incurred  in  its  construction.  New- 
ton Crawford,  Bela  Shaw,  Ephraim  Wyman  and 
Daniel  ^IcKenney  were  appointed  bridge  com- 
missioners by  the  act,  and  vested  with  power  to 
declare  the  amount  of  tax  to  be  levied,  which 
was  not  to  exceed  fifty  cents  on  one  hundred 
dollars.  These  commissioners  were  appointed  by 
the  act,  until  their  successors  should  be  elected 
annually  at  the  .\ugust  election.  When  the  dam 
went  out  the  third  time,  in  June.  1851,  the  bridge 
withstood  the  rush  of  waters,  although  it  was 
wrenched  from  its  position.  It  reminded  one  of 
a  cow-path  or  a  rail-fence,  and  had  a  very  in- 
secure look.  Though  twisted  from  end  to  end, 
it  kept  its  place  very  tenaciously  until  it  was  re- 
placed by  the  covered  bridge  in  the  winter  of 
1852-53.  Its  memory  should  be  treated  with  re- 
spect. It  enabled  people  to  attend  their  own  re- 
spective churches,  for  nearly  everybody  went  in 
those  days — Congregationalists  on  the  West  side, 


56 


TAST     ANT)     PRESEXT     OF     W  IXXE1!A<  io     COL'XTV. 


an<l  the  .Methodists  on  the  East  side.  Post  office 
and  county  l)nildin_sjs  were  accessible  to  all.  It 
proved  a  linnd  of  nnion  hetween  the  two  sides. 

KIUST    KUL'.NDKV    .\NI)    .\l  .\l  1 1 1  .\  K    SllOl'. 

The  first  foundry  and  niaciiine  sho]i  was  built 
in  the  autumn  ot  1843.  or  early  in  the  s]>rinjj  of 
the  followintj  year.  It  stood  on  the  site  of  Jerc- 
niiali  Davis'  residence,  on  Xorth  Second  street. 
The  proprietors  were  Peter  II.  and  William  W'at- 
.son.  Tlieir  father's  family  came  from  Canada 
and  settled  on  a  farm  in  the  Enoch  neighborhood 
in  (iuilford.  Peter  Watson  was  at  one  time  as- 
sistant secretary  of  war  durinjj  the  civil  conllict, 
and  at  a  later  period  was  president  of  the  Xcw 
"^'ork  and  I">ie  railroad.  The  foundry  was  run- 
nintj  in  the  sjirins;  of  1844.  The  jiroprietors  ob- 
tained a  contract  for  larjj^e  pumps  and  jjipes  for 
raisintj  water  from  the  lead  mines  at  Galena. 
March  11.  1845.  William  Wat.son  sold  his  interest 
in  the  business  to  his  brother  and  eufjag'ed  in  the 
manufacture  of  fanniufj  mills.  Peter  H.  con- 
tiiuieil  the  foundrv  until  .Aujjust,  1843.  His  suc- 
cessors in  the  business  at  this  stand  were  in  turn  : 
R.  E.  Reynolds.  0.  K.  Lyon.  John  Stevens.  H. 
H.  .Silsbv  Laomi  Peake.  and  James  L.  Fountain. 
The  last  named  proprietor  removed  the  material 
and  patterns  to  Xew  Milford  about  1852.  The 
last  vear  Mr.  Sil.sby  conducted  the  business,  in 
i84i>.  it  was  prosperous.  Peojile  came  a  distance 
of  forty  miles  to  g;et  their  work  done.  Mr.  Silsbv 
was  often  reiiiiired  to  work  niijhts  in  order  to 
ketj)  up  with  his  orders.  James  Worslcy  was  the 
ex|)ert  moulder  durinsj  all  these  years,  and  he  was 
master  of  his  trade.  He  was  afterward  in  the 
employ  of  Clark  &  L'tter  until  his  retirement  from 
the  business  bv  reason  of  old  age. 

Orlando  Clark,  who  has  been  erroneouslv 
credited  with  building  the  first  foundrv.  came 
from  Dcloit  in  1847.  and  established  himself  in 
business  on  the  \Vest  side  race,  where  he  re- 
mained imtil  185 1,  when  lie  went  into  business 
with  .Mr.  l'tter  on  the  new  water-])ower.  Mr. 
Clark  built  the  residence  in  South  Rockford. 
which  is  now  the  liome  of  Mrs.  John  C.  Harver. 

TIIIC    MvW    F.Nr,r..\ND   TYPF.. 

E.nierson  observes  that  an  institiUion  is  the 
lenf,'tliened  shallow  of  one  man;  as,  the  Reforiua- 
lion  of  Luther:  Methodism,  of  Wesley:  and  that 
all  history  resolved  it.self  into  the  biographv  of  a 
few  stout  and  earnest  jiersons.  Thus,  he  savs. 
■'events  prow  on  the  same  stem  with  persons :  are 
sul)-|)ersons."  The  larper  iunn])er  of  the  earlv 
sittlers  of  Rfickford  came  froiu  Xew  Enjjlaml. 
Some  emigrated  from  Xew  York  and  other  states. 
hut  the  Xew  Enpland  element  iiredominated. 
These  pioneers  im|)rcssed   their  pir-..  m.-ilil  v   upon 


this  connnunily.  .•md  it  has  remained  until  this 
day.  The  .Xew  Enyianders.  in  their  native  home, 
were  a  homo.ijeneous  race  :  even  the  Chinese  were 
scarcely  more  so.  With  the  exception  of  a  few 
Ihisjuenot  families,  who  came  from  the  old  world 
at  the  close  of  the  seventeenth  century,  and  who. 
from  religious  symiiathy  and  other  causes,  were 
easily  jjrafted  (ju  the  primeval  vine,  they  were 
all  descendants  of  I-jiirlish  stock. 

Industry,  thrift,  and  a  high  sense  of  personal 
honor  are  prominent  traits  in  the  typical  son  of 
Xew  England.  Soil  and  climate  determine  in 
some  measure  the  character  of  a  people.  The 
rocky  soil  of  New  England  refjuircd  the  hus- 
bandman to  practice  the  virtue  of  industry.  In  a 
s])eech  given  at  a  dinner  of  the  Pilgrim  .Society 
in  Plymouth,  in  1855.  Wendell  Philii])s  gave  this 
unique  characterization  of  the  Puritans:  "How 
true  it  is  that  the  Puritans  originated  no  new 
truth.  How  true  it  is.  also.  Mr.  President,  that 
it  is  not  truth  which  agitates  the  world.  I'lato, 
in  the  groves  of  the  .\cademy.  soundetl  on  and 
on  to  the  utiuost  depth  of  |)hilosophy,  but  .Vthens 
was  quiet.  Calling  around  him  the  choicest 
minds  of  Cirecce.  he  pointed  out  the  worthlessncss 
of  their  altars  and  the  sham  of  ])ul)lic  life,  but 
Athens  was  quiet. — it  was  all  speculation.  When 
Socrates  walked  the  streets  of  .\thens.  and.  cpies- 
tioning  everyday  life,  struck  the  altar  till  the 
faith  of  the  passer-by  faltered,  it  came  close  to 
action,  and  immediately  they  gave  him  hemlock, 
for  the  city  was  turned  upside  down.  I  might 
find  a  better  illustration  in  the  streets  of 
Jerusalem.  What  the  Puritans  gave  the  world 
was  not  thought,  but  action.  luiro])e  had  ideas, 
but  she  was  letting  T  dare  not  wait  upon  I 
would,  like  the  cat  in  the  adage.  The  Puritans, 
with  native  ])luck.  launched  out  into  the  deep  sea. 
Men.  who  called  themselves  thinkers,  had  been 
creeping  along  the  Mediterranean,  from  headland 
to  headland,  in  their  timidity:  the  Pilgrims 
launched  boldly  out  into  the  .Atlantic  and  trusted 
(iod.  That  is  the  claim  they  have  upon  pos- 
terity. It  was  action  that  made  them  what  they 
were." 

That  which  is  pinxhascd  at  the  greatest  cost 
is  usually  the  most  highly  treasured  :  and  thus 
the  inelustrious  farmer  and  artisan  became  frugal. 
It  was  a  point  of  honor  with  a  true  Xew  Eng- 
lander  to  maintain  his  family  and  pay  his  debts. 
This  he  could  not  do  except  by  a  persevering  in- 
dustry, and  a  metliodical  and  prudent  manage- 
ment of  his  affairs.  He  must  be  economical  if  he 
would  be  generous,  or  even  just,  for  extrava- 
gance sooner  or  later  weakens  the  sense  of  moral 
obligation.  These  traits  of  industry  and  thrift 
were  pleasantly  satirized  many  years  ago  bv  a 
southern  writer  in  the  following  paragrajih  :  "We 
of  the  south  are  luistaken  in  the  character  of 
these   peo])le.    when    we    think   of   them   only   as 


PAST  AXD  PRESENT  OF  WIXXEBAGO  COUNTY. 


peddlers  in  horn  flints  and  bark  nutmegs.  Their 
energy  and  enterprise  are  directed  to  all  objects, 
great  and  small,  within  their  reach.  At  the  fall 
of  a  scanty  rivulet,  they  set  up  their  little  manu- 
factory of  wooden  buttons  or  combs  :  they  plant 
a  barren  hillside  with  broomcorn,  and  make  it  into 
brooms  at  the  bottom,  and  on  its  top  they  erect 
a  windmill.  Thus,  at  a  single  spot,  you  may  set 
the  air,  the  earth  and  the  water  all  working  for 
them.  But,  at  the  same  time,  the  ocean  is 
whitened  to  its  extremities  with  the  sails  of  their 
ship,  and  the  land  is  covered  with  their  works 
of  art  and  usefulness." 

The  early  New  Englanders  have  been  charged 
with  coldness  and  severity  of  manner.  For  an 
austere  people,  however,  they  have  been  easily 
enkindled  with  noble  enthusiasms.  There  are 
certain  traits  prominent  in  their  type  of  character, 
such  as  their  love  of  order  and  the  habit  of  self- 
control,  which  hasty  observers  have  mistaken  for 
tokens  of  a  want  of  earnestness.  PiUt  seldom,  if 
ever,  has  there  been  a  more  sublime  rage  than 
was  shown  near  Boston,  in  April,  1775,  and  for 
eight  years  thereafter.  The  accusation  most  fre- 
quently repeated  against  those  stalwart  people  is 
that  of  religious  intolerance.  Christian  charity, 
however,  has  been  a  slow  and  painful  evolution 
through  the  centuries ;  and  the  New  Englander 
was  but  a  sharer  in  the  world-wide  spirit  of  in- 
tolerance. Perhaps  they  held  their  spinal  columns 
too  rigidly  erect,  and  carried  their  heads  too  high 
to  view  with  tender  sympathy  the  weak  and  sinful 
world  about  them.  Nevertheless,  they  bore  aloft 
the  standard  of  righteousness  before  a  lawless 
generation,  and  planted  in  the  new  world  the 
seeds  of  patient,  practical  and  self-denying  mor- 
ality. Their  posterity  have  sold  their  birthright 
for  the  pottage  of  license  and  disregard  of  the 
moral  law.  Whatever  of  justice  there  may  be  in 
the  strictures  upon  those  ancient  worthies,  it 
may  be  observed  that  no  Channing,  nor  Sumner, 
nor  Garfield  has  ever  been  nttrtured  in  the  atmos- 
phere of  a  Sunday  beer-garden. 

When  Judah  was  in  exile  in  Babylon,  her 
prophet,  Ezekiel,  had  a  vision  of  a  brighter  day. 
".Afterward  he  brought  me  again  unto  the  door 
of  the  house :  and  behold,  waters  issues  out  from 
under  the  threshold  of  the  house  eastward  :  for 
the  forefront  of  the  house  stood  toward  the  east, 
and  the  waters  came  down  from  under,  from  the 
right  side  of  the  house,  at  the  south  side  of  the 
altar."  This  river  was  primarily  a  symbol  of 
the  transformation  that  should  be  wrought  in 
Canaan  to  make  it  a  fit  dwelling-place  for  the 
ransomed  of  the  Lord  who  should  return  to  Zion. 
A  feature  of  Messianic  prophecy  is  the  promise 
of  the  renewal  of  nature  and  the  reconstruction 
of  society.  In  the  prophet's  vision  the  stream  of 
blessing  proceeded  from  the  temple  of  Jehovah ; 
and  the  virtue  of  its  waters  was  received  as  thev 


flowed  b}'  the  altar  of  sacrifice.  In  the  mind  of 
the  devout  Hebrew,  Jehovah  was  always  to  be 
found  in  his  visible  sanctuary.  The  Lord  was 
in  his  holy  temple.  So  the  institutions  of  an  en- 
lightened civilization  have  proceeded  from  the 
Christian  church,  through  the  sacrifice  of  the 
noble  men  and  women  of  the  past,  who  have 
served  her  with  a  lover's  devotion.  The  early 
colleges  of  this  land,  with  very  few  exceptions, 
were  the  offspring  of  the  church,  and  consecrated 
by  its  prayers. 

It  could  not  be  said  that  every  settler  of  Rock- 
ford  belonged  to  the  highest  class ;  but  the  de- 
termining force  in  the  community  came  from 
those  high  ideals  of  culture  and  religion,  and 
those  habits  of  economy,  industry,  integrity  and 
temperance  which  have  made  the  true  Englander 
a  representative  of  the  best  elements  of  our 
civilization.  It  was  ordained  in  the  beginning 
that  seed  should  bring  forth  fruit  after  its  kind. 
It  is  none  the  less  true  in  social  and  moral  life. 
The  moral  status  of  a  city  or  country  as  truly  indi- 
cates the  character  of  its  pioneers  as  the  rich, 
ripe  fruit  of  the  vineyard  tells  the  secret  of  its 
seed  and  culture. 

Hon.  R.  R.  Hitt,  in  an  address  delivered  in 
August,  1899,  before  the  old  settlers  of  Seward 
in  this  county,  said  the  statement  that  the  early 
settlers  builded  wiser  than  they  knew,  was  a 
reflection  upon  their  intelligence.  He  insisted  that 
the  ]5ioneers  knew  what  they  were  doing,  and  had 
some  conception  of  the  outcome.  Certain  it  is 
that  whatever  Winnebago  county  is  to-day  is 
directly  traceable  to  their  agency.  They  have 
been  the  architects  of  her  institutions.  They  laid 
broad  and  deep  the  foundation  of  her  industrial, 
educational,  moral  and  religious  interests,  and 
from  time  to  time  they  have  superintended  the 
superstructure..  The  large  majority  of  this  van- 
guard have  ceased  from  their  labors,  and  their 
works  do  follow  them.  As  the  few  who  remain 
behold  the  institutions  of  learning  that  have  been 
reared  in  every  town,  and  the  resources  provided 
for  the  humblest  as  well  as  for  the  strongest :  as 
the>-  look  over  the  prairies  reclaiined  from  bar- 
renness and  barbarism  through  their  toil  and 
privations  :  as  they  consider  the  various  religious 
influences  that  are  quietlv  softening  and  humaniz- 
ing the  moral  nature,  they  have  the  satisfaction 
of  knowing  that  they  have  not  lived  in  vain. 

There  is  a  tendency  in  this  age  to  remove  the 
ancient  landmarks  which  the  fathers  have  set. 
The  Sabbath  has  lost  much  of  its  former  sanctity. 
Parental  authority  has  become  a  lost  art,  or  a  lost 
virtue :  and  there  has  been  a  widespread  insub- 
ordination to  constituted  authority ;  and  the  mad 
chase  for  wealth  has  established  false  standards 
of  worth,  and  weakened  the  moral  fibre  of  the 
people.  These  are  not  the  reflections  of  a  pes- 
simist, but  the  conclusions  of  the  casual  observer. 


5S 


PAST     AXD    PRESFA'T    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


If  this  rciniblic  is  to  endure  there  imist  be  a 
speedy  return  to  the  homely  virtues  and  the  high 
ideals  of  the  fathers.  "For  wheresoever  the  car- 
cass is  there  will  the  eagles  be  gathered  together." 
In  the  ( )Id  Testament  the  eagle,  i>r  the  liird  of 
prey,  represents  a  foreign  army  sunimoiied  by 
Jehovah  to  execute  his  chastisement  u])on  a  cor- 
rni)t  nation.  The  interpretation  is  this :  Wher- 
ever there  is  corruption  there  will  be  inflicted  the 
judgments  of  Him  who  rules  in  righteousness. 

KIVICK    .\M>    IIARHOR    CO.W  ENTIOX. 

Prior  til  1846  Chicago  was  a  port  of  delivery 
only  and  belonged  to  the  district  of  Detroit.  The 
former  city  was  made  a  port  of  entry  by  act  of 
congress  in  1846.  Some  improvements  had  been 
made  in  the  harbor  previous  to  1839,  when  the 
work"  was  discontinued  for  want  of  funds.  A  bar 
had  formed,  which  extended  across  the  entrance 
of  the  chamiel.  so  that  vessels  could  enter  only  in 
fair  weather,  and  even  then  with  considerable 
difficulty.  It  was  only  in  response  to  the  un- 
remitting efforts  of  the  citizens,  by  memorials 
and  personal  influence,  during  the  years  1839-41, 
that  congress,  in  1843.  appropriated  twenty-five 
thousand  dollars  to  continue  the  improvements. 
The  next  year  thirty  thousand  additional  were 
a|>|)ropriated  for  the  same  purpose.  Up  to  this 
time  two  hundred  and  forty-seven  thousand  dol- 
lars had  been  ex|)ended  :  yet  the  harbor  was  still 
incomplete,  if  not  positively  dangerous.  John 
Wentworth,  Chicago's  able  representative  in  con- 
gress, had  secured  the  incorporation  of  another 
appropriatir)n  in  tlie  river  and  harbor  l)ill  of  1846 
by  a  decisive  majority :  but  Presiilent  Polk  in- 
teq)osed  his  veto. 

The  president  and  the  minority  in  congress 
were  thus  comniitte<l  against  the  |)olicy  of  river 
and  harbor  iTuijrovement.  This  course  pro- 
voked general  criticism,  and  especially  in  the 
west :  and  resulted  in  the  call  for  the  famous  river 
and  harbor  convention,  which  met  in  July,  1847 
It  was  f>ne  of  the  most  notable  events  of  the 
()eriod.  Preliminary  conferences  had  been  held 
in  Chicago.  Detroit,  Buffalo,  and  New  York,  and 
such  encouragement  had  been  received  that  a 
meeting  was  held  in  Chicago,  November  13,  184^1. 
to  complete  the  arrangements  for  the  convention. 
William  Moscly  Hall,  who  took  the  initiative  in 
calling  the  convention,  was,  from  1845  to  1848, 
agent  at  St.  Louis  of  the  Lake  Steamship  Associ- 
ation, connecting  by  Frink,  Walker  &  Company's 
stage  lines,  and  later  by  Illinois  and  Michigan 
canal  packets,  with  Illinois  river  steamers  to  St. 
Louis. 

The  convention  assembled  in  Chicago  July  5. 
1847.  Delegates  were  present  from  eighteen  out 
of  the  twenty-nine  states  of  the  union.  New 
^'ork  sent  over  three  hundred:  and  still  larger 


numbers  came  from  Michigan,  Ohio,  Wisconsin, 
Indiana  and  Illinois.  The  total  attendance  was 
estimated  to  be  from  six  to  ten  thousand.  Many 
of  the  leading  men  of  the  nation  were  present. 
Among  them  were  Thomas  Corwin.  \\'illiam 
I '.ebb.  Stanly  Mathews,  Schuyler  Colfax,  David 
Diidly  Field,  Thurlow  \\'ccd.  and  Horace  Greely. 
Thirty-five  counties  in  Illinois  sent  delegates. 
Abraham  Lincoln  was  one  of  the  number.  Mr. 
Lincoln  was  the  only  whig  representative  in  con- 
gress from  the  state.  He  at  this  time  made  his 
first  visit  to  its  commercial  metropolis.  Giicago 
was  then  a  city  of  fifteen  thousand  pi)])ulation. 

The  resolutions  adopted  enthusiastically  as- 
serted that  it  was  the  right  and  duty  of  the 
general  government  to  facilitate  commerce  by 
improving  harbors,  and  clearing  out  navigable 
rivers ;  and  that  theretofore  ajipropriations  made 
for  the  improvement  of  inter-oceanic  rivers  and 
lakes  had  not  Ijcen  in  fair  proportion  to  those  made 
for  the  benefit  of  the  Atlantic  coast.  A  resolution 
in  favor  of  a  railroad  from  the  states  to  the 
Pacific,  introduced  by  William  Moseley  Hall,  was 
adopted.  The  closing  speech  was  delivered  by 
the  president.  Edward  Bates,  which  tradition  has 
pronounced  "'a  masterpiece  of  American  oratory 
theretofore  unexcelled."  No  report  of  this  great 
oration  has  been  preserved. 

Winnebago  county  was  re])resented  at  this  con- 
vention by  thirty  delegates,  as  follows:  Daniel  S. 
Maight,  .\nson  S.  Miller.  S.  G.  Armor.  Thomas 
D.  Robertson.  William  Hulin.  Spencer  Post, 
Charles  H.  Sjjafford.  O.  Jcwett.  J.  A.  Wilson, 
Jason  Marsh.  Newton  Crawford.  Cyrus  1".  Mil- 
ler, Goodyear  .A.  Sanford.  W'.  A.  Dickerman.  R. 
R.  Comstock,  Jesse  Bliiui,  J.  B.  Peterson.  Austin 
Colton.  Shepherd  Leach.  C.  A.  Huntington.  J.  M. 
Wight.  L  B.  Johnson.  Samuel  Cunningham, 
Horace  Miller,  F.  M.  Miller,  W.  P.  Dennis.  H. 
Barross.  D.  Corey.  M.  H.  Regan.  Dr.  Carpenter. 

The  most  complete  report  of  this  historic  con- 
vention is  published  in  Fergus'  Historical  Series, 
number  eighteen,  which  devotes  about  two  hun- 
dred pages  to  the  subject.  Several  numbers  of 
this  work,  which  have  now  become  rare  and  valu- 
able, may  be  foimd  in  the  Rockford  public  library. 

idNSTITlTloNAr,    CONVENTION    OF     1848. 

In  pursuance  of  an  act  of  the  general  assembly, 
ajiproved  I-'ebruary  20,  1847,  a  constitutional  con- 
vention assembled  at  .Springfield.  June  7th  of  the 
same  year.  The  delegates  from  \\'innebago 
county  were  Seldon  M.  Church  and  Robert  J. 
Cross.  The  delegates  from  the  neighI)oring 
county  of  Boone  were  Dr.  Daniel  H.  Whitney 
and  Stephen  A'.  Hurlbut,  both  of  whom  were  well 
known  in  Rockford  at  an  early  date.  The  jour- 
nal of  ])roceedings  indicale  that  all  of  these  gen- 
tlemen took  part   in  the  iliscussions.     Upon  the 


PAST     AN'D     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


59 


organization  of  the  convention  Mr.  Church  was 
appointed  a  member  of  the  standing  committee 
on  the  organization  of  departments  and  offices 
connected  with  the  executive  department ;  ^Ir. 
Cross,  a  member  of  the  committee  on  the  bill  of 
rights ;  ]\Ir.  Hurlbut,  on  the  judiciary  depart- 
ment, and  Dr.  Whitney'  on  incorporations. 

Early  in  the  session  Mr.  Church  introduced  the 
following  resolution:  "Resolved,  That  the  com- 
mittee on  the  bill  of  rights  be  requested  to  in- 
quire into  the  expediency  of  so  amending  the 
sixth  article  of  the  present  constitution  that  it 
shall  provide  that  there  shall  be  neither  slavery 
nor  involuntary  servitude  in  this  state,  otherwise 
than  for  the  punishment  of  crimes,  whereof  the 
parties  shall  have  been  duly  convicted.  Nor  shall 
any  person  be  deprived  of  liberty  on  account  of 
color."  June  26th  Mr.  Cross  introduced  the  fol- 
lowing resolution :  "Resolved,  That  the  com- 
mittee on  elections  and  the  right  of  suffrage  be 
instructed  to  inquire  into  the  expediency  of 
changing  the  time  of  holding  the  elections  from 
the  first  Monday  in  August  to  the  Tuesday  next 
after  the  first  Monday  in  November,  and  the 
manner  of  voting  from  vive  voce  to  the  ballot." 
]\Ir.  Cross  also  led  in  an  effort  to  secure  in  the 
new  constitution  a  provision  for  a  state  superin- 
tendent of  schools,   with  a  liberal   salary. 

The  convention  continued  in  session  luitil 
August  31st,  when  the  new  constitution  was 
adopted.  It  was  ratified  by  the  people  March  6, 
1848,  and  in  force  from  April  ist  following.  The 
adoption  of  this  new  constitution  was  a  notable 
event  in  the  transition  from  a  primitive,  pioneer 
state  to  a  great  commonwealth.  Many  changes 
were  made.  A  section,  introduced  by  Air.  Hurl- 
but,  of  Boone,  provided  for  township  organiza- 
tion in  the  counties  wherever  desired.  The  time 
of  holding  the  general  election  was  changed  from 
August  to  November ;  the  method  of  voting  from 
vive  voce  to  the  ballot :  the  judiciary  was  made 
elective ;  and  many  improvements  were  made 
along  other  lines.  This  constitution  remained  in 
force  until  1870.  A  new  constitution  was  adopted 
in  convention  in  1862.  but  it  was  rejected  by  the 
people.  The  delegate  from  Winnebago  county 
to  this  convention  was  Porter  Sheldon,  a  brother 
of  C.  \\'.  Sheldon,  of  Rockford. 

THE   GALENA    AND  CHICAGO   UNION   RAILROAD. 

January  16.  1836.  a  charter  was  granted  to 
the  Galena  &  Chicago  Union  Railroad  Company 
to  construct  a  railroad  with  a  single  or  double 
track  from  Galena  to  Chicago.  The  capital  stock 
was  to  be  one  hundred  thousand  dollars,  with  the 
privilege  of  increase  to  a  sum  not  exceeding  one 
million  dollars.  William  Bennett,  Thomas  Drum- 
mond,  J.  C.  Goodhue.  Peter  Semple,  J.  M. 
Turner,  E.  D.  Tavlor  and  T-  B.  Thomas,  Jr.,  were 


made  commissioners  for  receiving  subscriptions 
to  the  capital  stock.  At  that  time  Galena  was  the 
leading  village  of  this  western  country.  This 
fact  explains  the  precedence  given  to  that  name 
in  the  title  of  the  road.  The  company  was  given 
three  years  in  which  to  commence  operations. 
Either  animal  or  steam  power  might  be  used.  The 
charter  was  obtained  mainly  through  the  influence 
of  Ebenezer  Peck  and  T.  W.  Smith.  The  Galena 
&  Chicago  Union  was  the  first  railroad  chartered 
to  be  built  from  Chicago,  upon  which  work  was 
immediately  begun.  The  road  became  an  im- 
portant factor  in  the  great  transportation  system 
of  Chicago,  as  well  as  towns  along  the  line. 

Thirteen  months  after  the  charter  was  granted, 
the  survey  of  the  proposed  route  was  begun  by 
an  engineer,  James  Seymour,  and  was  extended 
from  the  foot  of  North  Dearborn  street  as  far  as 
the  Des  Plaines  river.  Work  was  suspended  in 
June,  1838,  but  resumed  the  following  year,  and 
piles  were  driven  along  the  line  of  Madison 
street,  and  stringers  placed  upon  them.  It  soon 
became  evident,  however,  that  Chicago's  financial 
strength  was  not  equal  to  her  ambition,  and  the 
enterprise  was  temporarily  abandoned.  The  sus- 
pension of  operations  was  a  source  of  profound 
regret  to  the  citizens  of  the  Rock  River  valley, 
who  had  made  several  attempts  to  obtain  better 
connection  with  Chicago,  first  by  means  of  the 
contemplated  road,  and  later  by  canal.  These 
schemes  did  not  prove  feasible,  and  other  plans 
were  substituted. 

The  agitation  was  continued  in  Winnebago 
county  for  several  years.  The  first  railroad  meet- 
ing in  Rockford  was  held  November  28,  1845. 
Anson  S.  Miller  was  chosen  chairman  and  Seldon 
M.  Church,  secretary.  The  meeting  was  ad- 
dressed bv  Hon.  iNIartin  P.  Sweet.  It  was  re- 
solved that  those  counties  interested  in  the  con- 
struction of  a  railroad  from  Galena  to  Chicago  be 
recommended  to  send  delegates  to  a  convention 
to  be  held  in  Rockford.  January  7,  1846,  for  the 
purpose  of  taking  measures  for  the  construction 
of  the  road  at  the  earliest  possible  time.  Jason 
Marsh,  T.  D.  Robertson,  and  William  Hulin  were 
appointed  a  corresponding  committee  to  carry  out 
the  object  of  the  meeting.  The  following  dele- 
gates were  appointed  to  attend  the  convention 
from  Winnebago  county :  Horace  Miller,  A;  C. 
Gleason,  Robert  Barrett,  Harvey  Gregory,  Robert 
J.  Cross,  Asa  Farnsworth,  Stephen  Mack, 
Thomas  B.  Talcott,  Leman  Pettibone.  Guy 
Hulett,  Snvder  J.  Fletcher,  Alonzo  Hall,  Daniel 
B.  Baker,'  E.  S.  Cable.  Harvey  Woodruflf. 
Joseph  Manchester,  George  Haskell,  Willard 
Wheeler,  E.  H.  Potter,  Newton  Crawford,  J,  C. 
Goodhue,  S.  M.  Church,  Anson  ^Miller,  Jason 
^larsh,  and  T.  D.  Robertson. 

December  5,  1845,  a  meeting  was  held  in  Chi- 
cago to  select  delegates  to  the  Rockford  conven- 


6o 


PAST     ANT)     l'ki:SI-:\T     OI"     W  l.Wl-.r.ACO     COUXTV. 


tion.  Mayor  A.  Garrett  presided,  aiul  Isaac  X. 
Arnokl  was  secretary.  Tlie  meetinj:;  was  ad- 
dressed by  J.  Y.  Scamnion,  of  Cliicago,  and  Wil- 
liam lialdwin.  of  I'.oston.  The  followiiijj  delc- 
fjates  were  chosen  to  attend  the  convent  ion  at 
Ki)ckfi)rd:  Isaac  .\.  .\rnold,  J.  V.  ."^caninion.  J. 
1>.  I'".  Rnssell.  Mark  Skinner.  Thomas  D\er.  K. 
\V.  Tracy.  John  Danlin.  Stei)lien  1-".  dale.  Wil- 
liam H.  Ilrown.  Walter  L.  Xewberry.  William  E. 
Jones,  iJryan  W.  Raymond,  1".  C.  Sherman,  Wil- 
liam Jones,  Mayor  A.  Clarrctt.  Meetings  were 
held  at  ISelvidere.  December  20th,  and  at  Free- 
port.  December  25th,  for  the  selection  of  dele- 
jrates  to  the  convention. 

The  convention  was  held  .ii  Rockford  Jann- 
ary  7,  1S46.  Delejjates  were  present  from  the 
counties  i)roposed  to  be  traversed  by  the  line. 
Cook  comity  sent  si.xteen  delejfates ;  De  Kalb, 
one  ;  McHenry.  fifteen  ;  Rock,  three  ;  Ogfle,  eighty  ; 
Hoone.  forty-two;  I.ee,  one;  Kane,  fifteen; 
Stephenson,  forty ;  Winnebago,  one  hundred ; 
Jo  Daviess,  six;  a  total  of  three  hundred  and 
nineteen  delegates.  It  will  be  observed  that  Win- 
nebago, and  i)robably  other  comities,  sent  a  larger 
delegation  than  had  been  authorized  by  the  pre- 
liminary meeting.  The  convention  was  called  to 
order  at  twelve  o'clock  by  T.  D.  Robertson,  who 
nominated  T.  X.  .\rnold  for  teiiii)orary  chairman. 
Mr.  Robertson  was  chosen  secretary.  i)ro  teiii. 
The  committee  a|)pointed  to  nominate  perniaiieiit 
ofJicers  jireseiited  the  following  rejiort :  Thonias 
Drummond.  of  Jo  Daviess,  jiresident ;  William  II. 
Hrown,  of  Cook;  Joel  Walker,  of  lioone; 
Spooner  Ruggles,  of  Ogle;  Elijah  Wilcox,  of 
Kane,  vice-presidents ;  T.  D.  Robertson,  of  Win- 
nebago;  J.  ii.  Russell,  of  Cook;  S.  P.  Hyde,  of 
Mcllenry,  secretaries. 

The  president,  on  taking  the  chair,  addressed 
the  meeting  <m  the  great  im])ortance  of  the  out- 
come to  northern  Illinois  and  the  northwest,  and 
expressed  the  hope  that  all  their  transactions 
might  be  characterized  by  an  intelligent  view  of 
the  situation.  J.  Y.  Scamnion.  of  Cook,  oflfercd 
a  resolution  that  a  committee  of  one  from  each 
countv  be  ajipointed  to  re|)ort  resolutions  which 
would  express  the  views  of  the  convention.  The 
chair  appointed  the  following  committee:  J.  Y. 
Scanimon.  of  Cook;  (icorge  T.  Kasson,  of  Mc- 
Henry ;  Charles  S.  Hempstead,  of  Jo  Daviess ; 
M.  G.  Dana,  of  Ogle;  James  S.  Waterman,  of 
DeKalb ;  William  H.  Ciilman.  of  Pioonc ;  [ohn  A. 
Clark,  of  .Stephenson;  .\.  1!.  Wells,  of  Kane;  S. 
M.  Church,  of  Winnebago;  E.  (i.  Fisher,  of  Wis- 
consin Territory.  Walter  E.  .Xewberry.  of  Chi- 
cago, otYered  the  fallowing:  "Resolved,  If  a  satis- 
factory arrangement  can  be  made  with  the  |)resent 
holders  .if  the  stock  of  the  ( ialena  &  Chicago 
I'nion  Railroad  Company,  that  the  members  of 
this  convention  will  use  all  honorable  measures  to 
obtain  .subscriptions  to  the  stock  of  said  com- 
()any." 


.\n  animated  debate  followed,  and  after  a  full 
discussion  of  the  powers  of  the  charter  and  pos- 
sible benefits,  the  resolution  was  adopted  by  an 
overwhelming  vote. 

The  following  resolutions,  presented  by  J. 
^'olmg  Scamnion.  in  behalf  of  the  coniiiiittce  ap- 
pointed for  that  purpose,  were  adojited  without 
a  dissenting  vote : 

"Resolved,  That  the  wants  of  the  farmers  and 
the  business  men  of  northern  Illinois  require  the 
immediate  construction  of  a  railroad  from  Gii- 
cago  to  (ialena.  That  the  value  of  farms  ni)oii 
the  route  wonUl  he  doubled  by  the  construction 
of  the  road,  and  the  convenience  of  the  in- 
habitants  immeasural)ly  i)rofited  thereby. 

"Resolved,  That  in  order  to  accomplish  the  ob- 
ject of  this  convention,  it  is  indispensably  neces- 
sary that  the  inhabitants  and  owners  of  property 
between  (ialena  and  Chicago  should  come  for- 
ward and  subscribe  to  the  stock  of  the  proposed 
railroad  to  the  extent  of  their  ability;  and  that 
if  each  farmer  ni»on  the  route  shall  take  at  least 
one  share  of  the  stock  ( (Jiie  hundred  dollars)  the 
coiiii)letioii  of  the  road  would  be  placed  beyond 
contingency." 

This  action  enkindled  enthusiasm  along  the 
entire  line,  but  before  the  necessary  subscriptions 
had  been  secured.  Messrs.  Townsend  and  Mather, 
who  owned  the  original  charter,  otTered  the  same, 
together  with  the  land  and  such  improvements  as 
had  alread\-  been  made,  to  the  citizens  of  Chicago, 
for  the  sum  of  twenty  thousand  dollars.  The 
terms  contem])lated  the  payment  of  the  entire  sum 
in  stock  of  the  new  company  ;  ten  thousand  dol- 
lars immcdiatelv  after  the  election  and  organiza- 
tion of  the  board  of  directors,  and  the  remaining 
ten  thousand  dollars  on  the  completion  of  the  road 
to  Rock  river,  or  as  soon  as  dividends  of  six  per 
cent,  had  been  earned.  This  proposition  was  ac- 
cepted. The  i)urcliasers  subscribed  from  their 
own  means  for  the  expense  of  the  survey  on  De- 
cember 6,  1846,  and  the  following  year  the  work 
was  begun,  under  the  su]iervision  of  Richard  P. 
Morgan. 

It  was  decided  to  open  subscription  books  at 
Chicago  and  at  (Ialena.  as  well  as  the  several  set- 
tlements through  which  the  road  was  to  pass. 
The  task  of  canvassing  among  the  farmers  be- 
tween the  jiroposed  termini  was  undertaken  by 
William  P..  Ogden.  J.  Young  Scamnion  solicited 
funds  in  Chicago,  but  the  subscriptions  came  in 
slowly.  ( )nly  twenty  thousand  dollars  were  ob- 
tained at  the  t)utset  from  all  the  real  estate  men 
and  others  who  might  have  been  supi)osed  to 
have  been  especially  interested.  Certain  business 
men  in  Chicago  opposed  the  construction  of  the 
road  on  the  ground  that  it  might  divert  business 
from  Chicago  to  other  jioints  along  the  line.  Mr. 
( )g(len  met  with  better  success  in  the  rural  dis- 
tricts. Even  the  women  were  willing  to  undergo 
many  i)rivations  of  a  per.sonal  character,  that  they 


PAST  AXD  TRESEXT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


6i 


mig-ht  assist  in  the  construction  of  an  iron  high- 
way, which  they  behaved  would  prove  of  great 
benefit  to  the  succeeding  generations.  The  citi- 
zens of  Rockford  and  farmers  in  the  adjoining 
districts  made  hberal  subscriptions  to  stock.  John 
A.  Holland  and'T.  D.  Robertson  were  the  most 
active  local  promoters  of  the  enterprise. 

The  original  ])lan  was  to  secure  as  large  a  local 
subscription  to  the  capital  stock  as  possible,  and 
then  apply  to  eastern  capitalists  for  such  advances, 
either  in  the  form  of  subscriptions  to  capital  stock 
or  loans,  as  might  be  found  necessary.  The  in- 
terest in  the  enterprise,  however,  was  such  that 
by  April  i.  1848,  one  hundred  and  twenty-six 
subscribers  had  taken  three  hundred  and  fifty-one 
thousand  and  eight  hundred  dollars'  worth  of 
stock.  It  was  therefore  concluded  that  the  road 
should  be  constructed  and  owned  by  residents  of 
the  territory  through  which  it  was  to  pass.  It  was 
determined,  however,  to  interview  friends  of  the 
project  in  the  east,  to  obtain  such  suggestions  as 
their  experience  in  railroad  matters  might  enable 
them  to  give.  Eastern  capitalists  advised  the  con- 
struction of  the  road  as  far  as  the  subscription 
might  be  available ;  and  later,  if  money  were 
needed,  it  might  be  obtained  in  the  east.  There 
was  another  factor  in  the  problem.  Illinois  was 
burdened  with  an  enormous  debt,  and  repudiation 
had  been  imminent.  Eastern  capitalists  were 
therefore  not  prompt  in  response  to  calls  for  loans 
to  be  expended  in  internal  improvements. 

In  September.  1847,  a  corps  of  engineers  was 
engaged  for  surveys  and  work  was  begun.  Un- 
expected obstacles  were  encountered,  and  it  was 
impossible  for  the  directors  to  make  the  first  con- 
tract for  construction  until  near  the  close  of  the 
year.  Contracts  for  the  grading  and  bridging  of 
twenty-five  additional  miles  were  made  in  March, 
1848.  Meanwhile,  in  February,  1847,  an  amended 
charter  had  been  secured,  under  the  terms  of 
which  a  new  board  of  directors  was  elected  April 
5th  of  the  following  year.  Changes  were  sub- 
sequently made  as  follows  :  Thomas  D.  Robertson, 
of  Rockford.  was  elected  director,  vice  Allen 
Robbins,  resigned,  April  5,  1849;  Dexter  A. 
Knowlton,  of  Freeport,  vice  J-  Y,  Scammon.  re- 
signed, in   1850. 

The  canvass  for  subscriptions  made  along  the 
line  by  Mr.  Ogden  was  subsequently  supple- 
mented by  Charles  Walker,  Isaac  N.  Arnold, 
John  Locke  Scripps  and  John  B.  Turner.  In 
1848  B.  ^^'.  Raymond  and  John  B.  Turner  visited 
the  seaboard  to  enlist  eastern  support  in  the 
project.  The  journey  was  not  as  successful  as 
they  had  hoped ;  yet  they  reported  to  Chicago 
subscriptions  for  fifteen  thousand  dollars'  worth 
of  stock  and  the  promise  of  a  loan  of  seven  thou- 
sand dollars  additional.  The  financial  success  of 
the  enterprise  seemed  to  be  so  far  assured  by  this 
time  that  the  management  purchased  a  limited 
amount  of  rolling-stock. 


Mr.  Ogden,  the  president  of  the  company,  and 
also  a  member  of  the  city  council  of  Chicago,  en- 
deavored in  the  latter  capacity  to  secure  the  pas- 
sage of  an  ordinance  giving  the  company  the  right 
of  way  into  the  city,  with  other  incidental  privi- 
leges. The  ordinance  failed  to  pass,  but  the  road 
was  granted  the  privilege  of  constructing  a  tem- 
]iorary  track,  in  order  to  facilitate  the  hauling  of 
necessary  material  through  the  city.  The  first 
civil  engineer  of  the  reorganized  company  was 
John  \^an  Xortwick,  and  in  June,  1848,  his  as- 
sistant, George  W.  Waite,  drove  the  first  grading 
peg,  at  the  corner  of  Kinsie  and  Halstead 
streets. 

In  September,  1848,  the  directors  purchased 
two  engines  from  eastern  companies.  The  first, 
the  Pioneer,  arrived  in  Chicago,  October  loth 
following.  They  were  clumsy  in  appearance  and 
workmanship :  but  they  rendered  efficient  service. 
The  Pioneer  was  unloaded  from  the  brig  Buf- 
falo, on  the  Sunday  following  its  arrival  in  Chi- 
cago. It  proved  to  be  a  memorable  purchase.  At 
first  it  ran  simply  as  a  motor  for  hauling  ma- 
terial for  construction:  but  December  15,  1848, 
it  started  from  Chicago  at  the  head  of  the  first 
train  which  left  the  city  over  the  four  miles  of 
track.  In  the  rear  of  the  Pioneer  were  six 
freight  cars,  extemporized  into  passenger  coaches. 
The  engineer  in  charge  was  John  Ebbert.  As 
the  road  developed  Mr.  Ebbert  was  promoted 
until  he  became  master  mechanic  of  the  road.  His 
death  occurred  in  Chicago,  August  21,  1899,  at 
the  age  of  eighty-five  years.  The  first  engineer, 
however,  who  ran  the  Pioneer  as  far  west  as 
Rockford  was  I.  D.  Johnson.  In  1854  Mr.  John- 
son was  married  to  ]\Iiss  Delia,  a  daughter  of 
Samuel  Gregory.  To  them  were  born  six  chil- 
dren, three  of  whom  survived  the  father.  Mr. 
Johnson  died  at  his  home  in  Chicago.  February 
24,  1899,  and  was  buried  in  Rockford.  He  was 
a  man  of  straightforward  character,  and  as  an 
engineer  he  was  careful  and  courageous.  The 
Pioneer  was  on  exhibition  at  the  world's  Colum- 
bian exposition  in  1893.  under  the  charge  of  its 
former  master  Engineer  Ebbert,  and  attracted 
great  attention  as  an  example  of  primitive  ideas 
in  locomotive  construction.  It  is  now  on  exhibit 
at  the  Field  Columbian  Museimi. 

The  line  was  extended  to  Elgin,  forty  miles 
west,  in  January,  1850.  Nearly  one  hundred  and 
sixty-five  thousand  dollars  had  been  expended 
for  construction  up  to  that  time.  The  rolling- 
stock  was  then  an  object  of  admiration;  but  it 
is  now  only  of  interest  as  a  relic  of  the  day  of 
small  things.  The  track  was  laid  as  far  west  as 
Belvidere  in  the  spring  of  1852.  On  IMonday, 
August  2,  1852,  a  train  on  the  Galena  &  Chicago 
Union  railroad  arrived  in  East  Rockford.  Its 
advent  was  signalized  by  the  ringing  of  bells  and 
the  firing  of  cannon.  The  iron  horse  was 
greeted  by  the  populace  as  the  successor  of  the 


PAST     AX  I)     I'RESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


horse  ami  \va,t;nn  ami  oxcii  ami  ilrivcr  and  whip. 
From  tliat  day  Rock  ford  ])cgan  to  make  rapid 
strides  in  wealth,  population,  and  commercial  im- 
portance;  and  the  I'^orum  took  the  llattering  unc- 
tion to  its  .>;oul  that  Chicago  and  Galena  might 
be  soon  '■looking  this  way  with  a  jealous  eye 
lest  they  become  eclipsed  in  greatness  by  the  city 
of  the  Rock  river  valley." 

r.y  the  year  1857  quite  an  extension  of  the  line 
liad  been  completed.  A  double  track  had  been 
extended  thirty  miles  west,  as  far  as  Turner  Junc- 
tion, and  large  a<lditioiis  to  the  rolling  stock  had 
been  acquired.  The  expense  thus  incurred  in- 
creased the  total  up  to  that  time  to  nine  million 
dollars.  Before  the  close  of  1853  the  company 
had  extended  its  main  line  to  Freeport,  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty  miles  from  Chicago.  Notwith- 
standing the  fact  that  there  was  no  little  en- 
thusiasm in  Galena  over  the  extension  of  the  line 
to  that  i)oint.  Fate  decreed  that  (Galena  should 
be  connected  with  Chicago  by  another  line.  The 
Galena  &  (."hicago  L'nion  sold  its  right  of  way  to 
the  Illinois  Central.  It  has  been  said  that  had  the 
great  Central  system  made  a  connection  with  the 
Rock  ford  at  that  early  date  the  population  of  the 
city  would  have  been  materially  increased.  At  the 
close  of  1858  the  Galena  &  Chicago  Union  Com- 
l)any  was  free  from  a  lloating  debt ;  but  it  had  a 
fimded  indebtedness  of  three  million  seven  hun- 
dred and  eighty-three  thousand  and  fifteen  dol- 
lars. 

The  system  owned  and  operated  by  the  Chicago 
&  Northwestern  Railway  Company,  as  it  exists 
at  the  ])resent  time,  is  a  consolidation  of  not  less 
than  forty-five  distinct  roads.  June  2.  1864.  was 
effected  a  consolidation  of  the  Galena  &  Chicago 
Union  and  the  Chicago  &  Northwestern  com- 
l>anies.  under  the  name  of  the  Chicago  &  North- 
western Railway  Company.  The  old  Galena  & 
Chicago  Union  had  been  legitimately  built,  and 
was  never  bonded  :  and  when  it  was  purchased 
bv  the  Chicago  &  Northwestern,  the  stock  held  by 
the  old  subscribers  in  the  Galena  road  was  ex- 
changed for  stock  in  the  new  com])any.  The  con- 
solidatifin  was  effected  by  the  late  Samuel  J.  Til- 
den,  one  of  the  greatest  railroad  lawyers  of  his 
time.  The  Galena  had  been  a  profitable  road ; 
and  its  consolidation  was  one  of  the  first  in  north- 
ern Illinois. 

KKI-KIiSEXTATlVr,  ROCKFORD  CITIZENS:    1842-5O. 

Marshall  II.  Regan  was  born  in  Rochester,  New 
^'ork,  and  his  early  life  was  spent  in  his  native 
state  and  in  Canada.  Mr.  Regan  came  to  Rock- 
ford  in  1842.  He  engaged  in  the  lumber  trade, 
in  which  he  spent  his  active  business  life.  He 
was  also  a  contractor  and  builder,  did  a  large 
i)usiness,  and  accumulated  a  competence.  Mr. 
Regan  was  the  architect  of  the  old  First  Congre- 


gational church,  on  the  corner  of  First  and  Wal- 
nut streets.  He  was  a  ])rominent  citizen  in  early 
Rockford.  and  a  Democrat  in  politics.  He  died 
ill  1875. 

James  B.  Howell  settled  in  Rockford,  No- 
vember 8,  1843.  His  business  was  that  of  a  wool- 
carder  and  cloth-dresser.  When  the  first  dam 
was  completed,  Mr.  Howell  operated  a  carding 
and  fulling  machine  on  the  south  side  of  State 
street.  He  erected  a  building  in  1846.  and  began 
business  in  1848,  and  continued  therein  until  the 
dam  went  out  in  1851.  He  then  removed  his 
machinery  to  New  Milford.  He  returned  to  Rock- 
ford. and  some  years  later  he  formed  a  partner- 
ship with  his  brother-in-law,  M.  H.  Regan,  in 
the  lumber  business.  After  Huntington  & 
iiarncs'  book  store  was  destroyed  by  fire,  Mr. 
1  lowell  engaged  in  the  book  trade.  His  stand 
was  the  east  store  in  Metropolitan  Hall  block, 
which  for  many  years  was  occu])ie(l  by  B.  R. 
Waldo,  in  the  same  line  of  trade.  Mr.  Howell 
was  a  consistent  member  of  the  State  .Street 
Baptist  church. 

Benjamin  A.  Rose  was  torn  in  Philadelphia  in 
1 81 7.  In  early  manhood  he  removed  to  Chemung 
county.  New  York,  and  in  October,  1844,  he 
came  to  Rockford.  Mr.  Rose  was  county  clerk 
from  1847  to  1849.  He  was  one  of  the  clerical 
force  in  the  banking  house  of  Robertson  &  Hol- 
land, and  remained  in  the  bank  one  year  after  re- 
moving to  his  farm  in  1855.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rose 
were  charter  members  of  the  Second  Congrega- 
tional church.  Mr.  Rose  died  in  1883.  Mrs. 
Rose  died  in  December,  1896. 

Dr.  Lucius  Clark  became  a  resident  of  Rock- 
ford in  1845.  T^r.  Clark  was  born  in  Amherst, 
Massachusetts,  June  10,  1813.  He  was  the  third 
in  a  family  of  seven  sons,  five  of  whom  became 
physicians.  Dr.  Clark  was  a  member  of  the 
.American  Medical  Association,  and  of  the  Illinois 
State  Medical  Society.  During  the  war  he  was 
in  the  field  a  short  time  as  president  of  the  board 
of  examining  surgeons  for  the  state  of  Illinois. 
He  was  for  many  years  a  trustee  of  Rockford 
seminary.  In  1836  Dr.  Clark  married  Julia  A. 
.\dams,  of  Hinsdale,  Massachusetts.  She  died  in 
1 861.  In  1864  Dr.  Clark  married  Charlotte  M. 
Townsend,  of  this  city.  His  death  occurred  No- 
vember 5,  1878.  Dexter  Clark.  M.  D.,  followed 
his  brother  Lucius  to  Rockford,  where  he  re- 
sided until  his  death,  except  the  time  spent  in 
California,  where  he  went  in  1850.  Dr.  Dexter 
Qark  was  for  many  years  a  prominent  member 
of  the  -Second  Congregational  church,  and  su- 
perintendent of  its  Sunday-school.  Another 
brother.  Dr.  E.  N.  Clark,  settled  at  Beloit ;  and 
a  fourth  brother.  Dr.  .Asaliel  Clark,  resided  at  De- 
troit, Michigan.  Dr.  Lucius  Clark  had  two  sons 
who  succeeded  him  in  the  practice  of  medicine: 
Dexter  Selwvn,  ami  Lucius  Armor.     Dr.  D.  Sel- 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


wvn  Clark  died  February  12,  1898.  No  citizen  of 
Rockford  had  a  higher  sense  of  professional  and 
personal  honor,  and  his  death  was  universally 
lamented.  The  death  of  Dr.  L.  A.  Clark  occurred 
July  23,  1899,  in  the  house  in  which  he  was  born 
fifty  years  before.  He  had  a  wide  reputation  as 
an  expert  surgeon.  During  his  residence  on  the 
Pacific  coast  he  was  employed  as  a  steamship  sur- 
geon for  some  years,  and  was  a  passenger  on  the 
first  voyage  of  the  Colema.  which,  after  long 
service,  foundered  a  few  vears  ago.  Dr.  Clark 
was  also  surgeon  for  the  Illinois  Railroad  Com- 
pany, which  position  he  held  at  the  time  of  his 
death.  For  more  than  half  a  century  the  Clark 
family  was  represented  in  the  medical  profession 
of  Rockford.  In  the  death  of  Armor  Clark  there 
passed  awa}'  the  last  of  this  historic  familv  of 
practitioners. 

C.  A.  Huntington  came  to  Rockford  in  1845. 
He  had  left  his  family  in  July  at  Racine,  Wis- 
consin, until  he  could  find  a  desirable  place  for 
settlement.  November  5th  of  that  year  he  be- 
gan his  first  term  of  school  in  Rockford  in  a 
building  owned  by  H.  R.  Maynard,  which  stood 
on  the  site  of  the  Masonic  Temple.  In  the  fol- 
lowing year  L.  B.  Gregory  retired  from  teaching, 
and  Mr.  Huntington  succeeded  him  as  teacher 
in  the  old  courthouse  building  on  North  First 
street,  where  he  remained  until  the  fall  of  1848. 
Mr.  Huntington  then  taught  in  the  old  Baptist 
church  on  North  Main  street.  In  the  autumn  of 
1849  Mr.  Huntington  was  elected  school  com- 
missioner, and  served  eight  years.  In  that  same 
year  he  also  opened  the  first  book  store  in  Rock- 
ford, on  the  site  of  the  Third  National  Bank. 
He  subsequently  removed  to  the  corner  store  in 
Laomi  Peake's  block,  where  the  Reeling's  drug 
store  now  stands.  There  he  and  Robert  Barnes 
conducted  a  book  store,  and  a  book  bindery  on  the 
second  floor.  November  27.  1857,  this  block  was 
destroyed  by  fire.  Huntington  &.  Barnes  carried 
a  stock  of  eleven  thousand  dollars.  Mr.  Hunt- 
ington resided  in  Rockford  until  1864,  when  he 
removed  to  California,  where  he  died  a  few 
months  ago. 

Hon.  W'illiam  Brown  was  born  in  Cumberland, 
in  the  north  of  England,  June  I,  1819.  In  1846 
he  became  a  citizen  of  Rockford.  During  his  first 
winter  in  the  west  he  taught  a  district  school. 
Judge  Brown  was  honored  with  several  public 
offices.  He  was  chosen  a  justice  of  the  peace 
in  1847.  In  1852  he  was  elected  state's  attorney 
for  the  district  comprising  Stephenson,  Winne- 
bago and  Jo  Daviess  counties,  and  served  three 
years.  At  the  expiration  of  that  time  he  was 
elected  mayor  of  Rockford.  In  1857  Judge 
Brown  formed  a  partnership  with  ^^^iliam  Lath- 
rop,  which  continued  three  years.  He  then  be- 
came a  partner  with  the  late  H.  W.  Taylor,  with 
whom  he  was  associated  until  1S70.     In  1864  he 


was  elected  a  member  of  the  legislature  as  a  re- 
publican. Judge  Brown  was  first  elected  judge 
to  fill  the  vacancy  caused  by  the  promotion  of 
Judge  Sheldon  to  the  supreme  bench.  He  was 
subsequently  elected  for  three  full  terms.  His 
career  on  the  bench  covered  twenty  j-ears.  Judge 
Brown  died  January  15,  1891. 

Hiram  H.  Waldo  was  born  in  Elba,  Genesee 
county.  New  York,  November  23,  1827.  He 
came  to  Rockford  in  1846,  when  he  was  nine- 
teen years  of  age,  and  completed  his  early 
education  in  the  district  schools.  He  studied 
in  summer,  and  taught  in  the  winter,  for  several 
years,  until  1851.  Mr.  Waldo  taught  in  the  Red- 
ington  district,  in  the  old  First  Baptist  church, 
Cherry  Valley,  Guilford,  Harlem,  in  the  basement 
of  the  First  Methodist  church  as  assistant  to  See- 
ly  Perry,  and  as  assistant  to  C.  A.  Huntington,  on 
First  street.  Mr.  Waldo  subsequently  spent  two 
years  in  Chicago,  where  he  secured  a  clerkship  in 
the  postoffice,  under  Postmaster  Dole,  and  was 
promoted  to  the  superintendency  of  western  dis- 
tribution. Mr.  Waldo  remained  a  short  time  under 
Postmaster  Isaac  Cook.  He  returned  to  Rock- 
ford when  Charles  I.  Horsman  became  postmas- 
ter the  second  time.  Mr.  Horsman  did  not  give 
his  personal  attention  to  the  office,  and  Mr.  Wal- 
do assumed  this  responsibility.  Mr.  Waldo 
opened  a  book  store  in  1855,  in  a  frame  building 
which  rested  on  poles,  where  the  Grand  Union 
Tea  Store  now  stands.  He  remained  there  four 
}'ears,  and  then  removed  into  his  present  stand, 
in  1859,  where  for  forty-six  years  he  has  done 
business  without  interruption.  He  is  the  only 
merchant  now  in  business  of  all  those  engaged  in 
trade  when  he  began.  Mr.  Waldo,  however,  was 
not  the  only  early  book  dealer  on  the  west  side. 
John  M.  Perry,  a  brother  of  Seely  Perry,  had  a 
book  store  on  the  site  now  occupied  by  Whee- 
lock's  crockery  store.  Mr.  Perry  sold  this  stock 
to  J.  W.  Seccomb.  Mr.  Waldo  served  as  school 
commissioner  of  Winnebago  county  from  1857  to 
1859,  and  again  from  1863  to  1865.  Upon  the 
failure  of  the  Second  National  Bank,  Mr.  Waldo 
was  appointed  receiver  by  Commissioner  Eckles, 
and  paid  eighty-five  per  cent,  of  the  indebtedness. 

L.  F.  Warner  was  a  native  of  Connecticut.  He 
read  law  with  Hon.  Reuben  Booth,  who  had  been 
governor  of  the  state.  Mr.  Warner  came  to 
Rockford  in  November,  1848.  He  was  always  a 
democrat,  and  was  a  delegate  to  the  famous  con- 
vention at  Charleston,  in  i860,  which  resulted 
in  a  breach  in  the  party,  and  the  nomination  of 
Stephen  A.  Douglas  for  the  presidency  at  a  later 
convention.  Mr.  Warner  seiwed  Rockford  as 
city  attorney  several  terms.     He  died  in  1904. 

Melancthon  Starr  is  an  honored  name  in  Rock- 
ford history.  Mr.  Starr  was  born  in  Albany, 
New  York,  April  14,  1816.  He  removed  to  Rock- 
ford in   1850.     He  first  conducted  a  dry  goods 


64 


PAST     AXU     I'KF.SEXT     OF     WIXXFi'.AGO     COUXTV. 


business  on  the  old  Second  Xational  Hank  corner. 
He  was  assignee  of  Charles  I.  Horsnian's  bank 
when  it  failed.  In  1855  Mr.  Starr  became  inter- 
ested in  what  was  afterward  called  the  Winneba- 
go Xational  Bank.  This  banking  house  was 
founded  in  1848  by  Thomas  D.  Robertson  and 
John  A.  Holland.  Later  John  S.  Coleman  be- 
came a  partner,  and  the  (irm  was  Robertson,  Cole- 
man &  Co.  On  the  death  of  Mr.  Holland,  Mr. 
Starr  was  admitted  to  the  firm  ;  and  after  Mr. 
Coleman's  death  the  firm  was  Robertson 
&  Starr,  which  continued  until  the  organi- 
zation of  the  Winnebago  Xational  Bank, 
in  1865.  Mr.  Robertson  was  president,  and 
Mr.  Starr  was  vice-president  until  his  death, 
.\  beautiful  trait  was  his  sympathy  for  his 
old  friend,  tlie  late  Ephraim  Wyman,  wlio 
in  his  old  age  was  reduced  to  very  moderate  cir- 
ctuustanccs.  Xcarly  every  Sunday  Mr,  Starr 
visited  his  friend,  and  cheered  his  last  years  with 
liis  sympathy  and  purse.  Mr.  Starr  was  a  Uni- 
tarian, and  was  a  communicant  of  the  local 
church  until  its  membership  disbanded,  when  he 
became  a  regular  attendant  at  the  church  of  the 
Christian  Union.  Mr.  Starr  died,  universally 
esteemed,  Xovember  29,  1885. 

John  Edwards  was  born  at  Acton,  Massachu- 
setts, August  18,  1800.  He  was  in  business  in 
Lowell  before  his  removal  to  the  west.  Mr.  Ed- 
wards was  living  at  Alton,  Illinois,  during  the 
excitement  which  resulted  in  the  death  of  Rev. 
Elijah  P.  Lovejoy,  America's  martyr  to  free  soil 
and  free  speech.  On  that  occasion  Mr.  Edwards 
took  an  honorable  and  decided  position  in  favor 
of  the  freedom  of  the  press ;  and  stood  on  guard 
at  Mr.  Lovejoy's  bed,  with  a  loaded  musket  in 
his  hand,  the  night  before  that  brave  abolitionist 
was  murdered  by  the  pro-slavery  mob.  Mr.  Ed- 
wards came  to  Rockford  in  1850.  He  was  the 
first  dealer  in  ])ine  lumber  in  the  city.  His  first 
yard  was  near  Peter  Sanies'  wagon  factory,  near 
the  Xorthwestern  Railroad  track.  Mr.  Edwards 
encouraged  the  development  of  the  Rockford 
water-power ;  was  interested  in  the  work  of  the 
seminary,  and  during  his  last  years  lie  was  its 
agent.     His  death  occurred  June  14,  1871. 

I)F.P.\RTURK    OF    MR.    H.MGIIT. 

Daniel  S.  Haight,  the  founder  of  East  Rock- 
ford, like  his  west  side  rival,  did  not  remain  in 
Rockford  to  see  the  fruition  of  his  early  settle- 
ment. Mr.  Haight  removed  from  the  village 
in  the  winter  of  1847-48,  and  settled  in  Texas, 
near  .'^hrcveport.  Louisiana.  He  revisited  Rock- 
ford in  1857.  The  date  of  his  death  is  unknown 
to  his  old  friends  in  Rockford.  There  is  a  tradi- 
tion, which  is  commonly  accepted,  that  he  was  a 
soldier  in  the  Confederate  army,  and  that  he  died 
after  the  Civil  war  at  Fort  Worth,  Texas.     No 


worthy  record  of  his  life  and  work  has  been  pre- 
served ;  but  next  to  Mr.  Kent,  his  name  is  most 
])n)niincnt  in  early  history. 

GOLD  IILNTERS  OF  '49 

ihe  gold  e.xciteiuent  drew  many  to  California 
in  1849-50.  Among  those  who  went  from  Rock- 
ford was  Giles  C.  Hard.  A.  C.  Spafford,  D.  K, 
Lyon,  H.  B.  Potter,  Dexter  Clark,  William  Ham- 
ilton, H.  H.  Silsby,  Isaac  Rowley.  Obadiah  E. 
Lamb,  a  Mr.  Smith,  a  Mr.  Lewis,  Sylvester  Rob- 
inson, and  Henry  L.  Simpson.  Mr.  Robertson 
died  at  .Mud  .Springs,  forty-five  miles  east  of  Sac- 
ramento, a  few  days  after  his  arrival.  Mr.  Rob- 
inson was  a  native  of  Connecticut,  and  came  to 
Rockford  in  1847.  He  was  the  father  of  Mrs. 
E.  P.  Catiin  and  H.  H.  and  X.  S.  Robinson.  Mr, 
Simpson  died  while  on  his  return  home,  at  Peru, 
Illinois,  in  March,  1851.  His  remains  were 
brought  to  Rockford  for  burial,  Mr.  Simpson 
was  the  father  of  E.  L.  Simpson  and  Mrs.  Z.  B. 
.Sturtevant.  He  came  to  Rockford  about  1839.  He 
built  a  brick  house  which  still  stands  on  Leonard 
Schmauss'  lot  on  Xorth  Second  street ;  and  part 
of  another  brick  house  on  the  southwest  corner 
of  First  and  Market  streets.  Mr.  Simpson  was 
engaged  in  the  business  of  blacksmithing.  He 
owned  a  one-half  interest  in  a  gristmill  at  Cherry 
X'alley,  and  pro])crty  in  Rockford.  Mr.  Lamb 
died  in  California.  As  in  all  similar  ventures, 
some  were  successful :  while  others  received  no 
adc(|uate  returns  for  their  journey  into  this  far 
country. 

i;.mm.\n'i;el  cmurch. 

The  Rt.  Rev.  Philander  Chase,  D.  D..  first 
bishop  of  the  diocese  of  Illinois,  made  his  first 
e|)iscopal  visitation  to  Rockford.  August  28, 
1841.  Prior  to  this  time  there  had  been  no  public 
services  of  the  Episcopal  church  held  in  the 
county.  There  had  been  only  a  very  few  families 
of  the  faith  who  had  .settled  in  Rockford.  Levi 
Moulthrop,  M.  D.,  was  the  first  churchman  who 
came  into  this  county. 

The  first  church  family  who  settled  in  the 
county  was  that  of  Sam]>son  George,  who  came 
from  Yorkshire,  England.  They  arrived  in  the 
settlement  of  Rockford,  September  24,  1836.  The 
family  consisted  of  Mr.  George,  his  wife,  Ann, 
and  five  children,  two  daughters  and  three  sons. 
The  children  had  received  baptism  in  England. 
Mr.  George  brought  a  letter  from  their  parish 
priest,  commending  the  family  to  the  spiritual 
care  of  any  clergyman  of  the  American  church 
into  whose  jurisdiction  they  might  come.  The 
death  of  Mr.  George  occurred  five  weeks  after 
the  arrival  of  the  family  in  Rockford.  There  was 
no  priest  nearer  than  the  missionary  at  Galena, 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


6S 


he  could  not  be  definitely  located,  owing  to  the 
extent  of  territory  under  his  charge.  Thus  the 
first  churchman  was  buried  without  the  offices  of 
church. 

During  the  next  few  years  several  other  fami- 
lies of  the  church  settled  in  the  county.  Among 
these  were  Jonathan  W'eldon,  Chauncy  Ray  and 
John  W.  Taylor.  The  former  two  settled  on 
farms  about  six  miles  southwest  of  the  town,  and 
the  latter  remained  in  the  village,  and  engaged 
in  the  dry  goods  business. 

At  the  Bishop's  first  visitation  the  services  were 
held  in  the  old  courthouse  building  on  North 
First  street,  which  served  a  similar  purpose  for 
other  households  ot  faith. 

August  4,  1842,  the  bishop  made  a  second  visi- 
tation to  Rockford.  The  services  morning  and 
afternoon  were  held  in  the  same  building  as  in  the 
preceding  year.  The  sacrament  of  the  holy  eu- 
charist,  baptism  and  confirmation  were  adminis- 
tered. The  bishop  preached  two  sermons. 
Aside  from  these  yearly  visitations  by  the  bishop, 
the  church  families  in  and  around  Rockford  were 
without  the  sacraments  of  the  church,  except  an 
occasional  visit  by  some  missionary  priest  from 
a  distant  point. 

In  1845,  the  Rev.  Alfred  Lauderback,  of  New 
York  State,  was  appointed  by  the  domestic  board 
of  missions  to  the  missionary  field  of  northern 
Illinois  and  southern  Wisconsin,  with  Belvidere 
and  Rockford  as  chief  points  of  location. 
This  fact  meant  more  regular  and  fre- 
quent services  for  Rockford.  The  new  mis- 
sionary's service  was  held  August  10,  1845. 
Father  Lauderback  ministered  in  this  sec- 
tion two  years,  when  he  was  sent  to  take  charge 
of  the  parish  which  had  been  recently  organized 
at  Galena,  Illinois.  From  this  time  for  several 
years  occasional  services  were  held  in  the  village 
by  the  Rev.  Dudley  Chase,  a  son  of  the  bishop, 
and  the  Revs.  Humphrey  and  Millett,  of  Beloit, 
Wisconsin ;  Pulford,  of  Belvidere ;  Johnston,  of 
Pekin,  and  ]\Iiller,  of  Bonus,  Illinois,  the  father 
of  Orin  ]\Iiller,  an  early  Rockford  attorney.  Ser- 
vices were  generally  held  in  the  new  courthouse. 

The  present  parish  was  organized  May  i,  1849. 
A  meeting  of  the  parishioners,  both  men  and 
women,  was  convened,  at  which  the  Rev.  Dudley 
Chase  presided ;  and  the  parochial  organization 
was  effected  in  accordance  with  the  prescribed 
canonical  fomi.  The  articles  of  association  were 
signed  by  Chauncey  Ray,  Jonathan  Weldon, 
Horace  Starkey,  Duncan  j.  Stewart,  John  Con- 
rad, S.  R.  Weldon,  and  Spencer  S.  Weldon.  Up- 
on the  organization  of  the  parish  the  parishioners 
proceeded  to  the  election  of  a  vestry.  Those 
elected  were :  senior  warden,  Horace  Starkey  ; 
junior  warden.  Cliauncey  Ray;  vestrymen,  John 
Conrad,  Duncan  J.   Stewart  and  S.  R.  Weldon. 

The  Rev.  Dudley  Chase  was  called  to  be  the 
5 


first  rector.  He  accepted  the  call  but  afterward 
declined,  as  he  preferred  to  accept  a  charge  in 
Chicago,  where  he  organized  the  parish  of  the 
Atonement  on  the  west  side,  which  was  afterward 
merged  into  the  cathedral  of  Saints  Peter  and 
Paul. 

November  15,  1852,  the  Rev.  Charles  Reighley, 
of  Chicago,  was  called  to  the  rectorship  of  the 
parish.  With  the  consent  of  the  new  Bishop, 
Rt.  Rev.  Henry  John  Whitehouse,  the  call  was 
accepted,  and  the  first  rector  entered  at  once  upon 
his  work.  Bishop  Chase  had  died  September  27, 
1852,  and  had  been  succeeded  by  Bishop  White- 
house.  A  lot  was  purchased  on  the  corner  of 
North  Church  and  North  streets,  for  two  hundred 
dollars,  and  a  church  builuing  erected  at  a  cost  of 
nineteen  hundred  dollars.  The  new  church  was 
consecrated  by  Bishop  \Miitehouse,  August  23, 
185^,  "hv  the  name  of  Emmanuel  Church  Rock- 
ford." 

Succeeding  the  Rev.  Charles  Reighley  have 
been  the  following  rectors  in  the  order  named : 
Revs.  Anson  Clark,  Alichael  Schofield,  William 
T.  Smithett,  Thomas  Smith,  S.  B.  Duffield.  J.  E. 
Walton,  S.  D.  Dav,  C.  S.  Percival,  F.  W.  Adams, 
A.  ^^^  Snvder,  D.  C.  Peabodv,  ^^^•llvs  Rede  and 
N.  B.  Clinch. 

The  Rev.  D.  C.  Peabody  became  rector  March 
I,  1 886.'  During  his  rectorship  the  present  rec- 
tory was  purchased,  and  the  Fairfield  Memorial 
Parish  House  erected,  at  a  cost  of  forty  thousand 
dollars.  The  latter  was  the  gift  of  one  parishion- 
er, Mrs.  Eleanor  G.  Fairfield,  and  was  erected  as 
a  memorial  to  her  husband.  An  additional  thirty 
feet  of  land  adjoining  the  church  lot  on  the  west 
was  purchased  at  a  cost  of  sixteen  hundred  dol- 
lars, and  many  other  permanent  improvements 
made  in  the  parish. 

.\DOPTIOX  OF  TOWNSHIP  ORGANIZATION. 

The  constitution  of  1848  provided  for  a  county 
court,  as  the  successor  of  the  county  commission- 
er's court,  and  authorized  the  legislature  to  enact 
a  general  law.  providing  for  township  organiza- 
tion, under  which  counties  might  organize,  by  a 
majority  vote  of  the  people.  In  the  early  days  of 
Illinois  as  a  state,  southern  ideas  and  institutions 
dominated  the  commonwealth.  The  commission- 
er's form  of  local  government  originated  in  this 
country  with  the  Virginia  planters.  The  sj'S- 
tem  of  township  organization  had  its  origin  in 
New  England.  But  the  root  of  this  form  of  local 
government  may  be  traced  to  the  districting  of 
England  into  tithings  by  King  Alfred,  in  the 
ninth  century,  to  curb  the  widespread  social  dis- 
orders which  disturbed  his  realm.  The  change 
under  the  second  constitution  of  Illinois  was  due 
to  the  influence  of  New  England  settlers  in  the 
northern  portion  of  the  state.   The  Illinois  town- 


66 


PAST     AND     l'Ki:SF.XT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


ship  sv.sliiii.  Imucvor.  is  not  closely  nuuklcil  alUi" 
that  of  the  New  Fuisjlaiul  states. 

The  legislature,  by  two  acts  ai)i)n)veil  I'Vbruary 
12.  1S4V.  siipplenieiiteil  these  two  constitutional 
provisions  by  the  necessary  legislation.  The 
first  created  a  county  court,  the  judges  of  which 
should  be  elected  on  the  Tuesday  after  the  first 
Monday  in  November,  1849.  and  (|uadrennially 
thereafter,  and  assume  their  duties  on  tlie  first 
Monday  in  December  followin«j.  There  were 
also  to  be  elected  at  the  same  time  and  places,  two 
associate  justices  of  the  peace,  who.  with  the 
judjjfe.  ccjustituted  the  county  court,  which  suc- 
ceeded the  county  commissioners"  court. 

This  county  court  was  shortlived,  so  far  as 
Winnebago  covuity  was  concerned.  The  second 
statute,  also  approved  February  12,  1840,  provid- 
eil  that  at  the  next  g^eneral  election  in  Xovember. 
1841;.  the  voters  in  any  county  niisjht  vote  for  or 
against  township  organization.  Conse(|uently,  at 
the  same  general  election  in  Xovember.  1S49.  tlic 
voters  of  this  county  elected  both  a  county  court 
to  succeed  the  county  commissioners'  court ;  and 
voted  to  adopt  township  organization.  Section 
four  of  the  new  law  provided  that  if  the  voters  so 
elected,  the  township  organization  should  be  in 
force  the  first  Tuesday  in  .\pril.  1850.  At  that 
time  the  associate  justices  ceased  to  be  members 
of  the  county  court,  under  the  provision  of  sec- 
tion six  of  article  seven  of  the  new  constitution. 
The  associate  justices,  however,  were  elected  for 
several  years  as  justices  of  the  peace  for  the 
county  at  large. 

It  may  seem,  at  first  thought,  that  two  such 
laws  would  not  have  been  passed  by  the  legisla- 
ture, as  the  second  might  nullify  the  first.  lUit  it 
will  be  observed  that  the  township  organization 
system  did  not  become  operative  unless  the  peo- 
ple so  voted ;  hence  there  was  a  possibility  that 
tliey  would  not  conflict. 

I'rom  1849  to  1855  the  clerk  of  tne  county 
court  was  also  clerk  of  the  board  of  supervisors, 
under  section  eight  of  article  sixteen  of  the  town- 
shij)  organization  law.  ]\\  virtue  of  an  act  of 
I'ebruary  9,  1855.  tlie  clerk  of  the  county  court  of 
Winnebago  county  ceased  to  be  ex-oflficio  clerk  of 
the  Ixiard  of  supervisors  after  the  first  Monday  of 
the  following  .\pril.  Under  this  law  Duncan 
Fergus(}n  was  appointed :  and  a  separate  clerk 
of  the  l)oard  was  thereafter  biennially  appointed, 
until  the  law  was  repealed. 

SECOND  CONGREG.\TIO.V,\L  CHURCH. 

The  Seconrl  Congregational  church  was  orga- 
nized in  the  autumn  f)f  1849.  ^^'^h  forty-seven 
members.  Nearly  all  ha<l  taken  letters  from  the 
first  church  imder  ilate  of  October  i8th. 

The  first  meeting  ])reliminary  to  organization 
was  held  October  30.   1849.  at  the  schoolhouse 


in  West  Rockfonl.  This  building  was  standing 
on  South  Maon  street  until  about  two  years  ago. 
.\  committee  of  three  was  chosen  to  present  at  a 
future  meeting,  the  articles  of  faith,  covenant  and 
rules  of  the  government  for  the  ])roiX)sed  church, 
iienjamin  .\.  Rose.  Dexter  G.  Clark  and  Thomas 
D.  Kolx-rtson  constituted  this  committee.  It  was 
resolved  that  the  public  organization  of  the 
church  should  take  place  November  14th;  and 
Samuel  J.  Russell,  Worcester  .A..  Dickerman  and 
Robert  Clow  were  chosen  to  make  the  necessary 
arrangements. 

An  adjourned  meeting  was  held  November  7th. 
.\  resolution  was  adopted,  by  which  the  following 
named  ])ersons  who  were  present  organized  the 
church :  Robert  Clow,  I'urton  P.  Franklin, 
David  D.  .\lliiig,  Rebecca  Ailing,  Alexander  Pat- 
terson, Helen  I'atterson,  Ellen  Patterson,  Jane 
Gordon.  'J'honias  D.  Robertson,  Goodyear  A. 
.Sanfonl.  Elizabeth  H.  .Sanford.  Worcester  A. 
Dickerman,  Caroline  M.  Dickcrmati.  Michael 
I'.urns,  Deborrah  Burns,  Samuel  I.  Russell,  Lucy 
Russell,  Dexter  G.  Clark,  Benjamin  .\.  Rose, 
.\ntionettc  \\'.  Rose.  Eliza  Han  ford,  Rebecca 
Spurr.  Hariette  W.  Piatt,  Rial  K.  Town,  Clarissa 
Town,  Mary  ISond.  Emily  G.  .Sanford,  Susan  G. 
l'"uller,  Elizabeth  1!.  l-'ield.  Hilary  .\.  Frink.  Lcmi- 
ra  L.  Meyers.  Lucy  C.  Hyde.  Sarah  D.  Hyde, 
Esther  Ann  Hyde.  Henry  C.  Hyde.  (Sershom  C. 
Hyde.  Alonzo  Gorham,  Hannah  L.  (^orham.  Mer- 
cv  .-\.  (jorham,  .Ann  Levings,  Mrs.  Elizabeth  C. 
Porter,  .Vnor  Woodruff.  Mrs.  Eliza  Woodruff, 
James  lAirter.  F^benezer  Hyde.  Mrs.  Barbara  Por- 
ter. 

Thomas  D.  Robertson,  from  the  committee  ap- 
pointed at  the  former  meeting,  presented  a  report 
of  articles  of  faith,  covenant  and  rules  of  govern- 
ment. This  rejiort  was  accepted  and  adopted. 
The  articles  of  faith  were  thoroughly  orthodox, 
according  to  the  standard  of  the  time. 

This  preliminary  organization  was  completed 
bv  tlie  election  of  officers.  Rial  K.  Town  and 
.Monzo  Gorham  were  chosen  deacons ;  Thomas 
D.  Robertson,  clerk  ami  treasurer;  I'lcnjamin  A. 
Rose  and  .Sanniel  J.  Russell,  jirudential  commit- 
tee :  Goodyear  A.  Sanford.  Worcester  .\.  Dick- 
erman and  Dexter  G.  Clark,  assessment  commit- 
tee. 

The  jniblic  organization  of  this  clnirch  oc- 
curred Wednesday.  Xovember  14.  1849.  Pre- 
vious to  these  formal  exercises  Mrs.  Sarah  J. 
Clark,  Mrs.  E.  W.  Spalding  and  Jane  C.  Hough- 
ton, who  bad  been  included  in  the  original  letter 
of  dismission  from  the  first  church,  but  were  not 
jiresent  at  the  first  meeting,  were  received ;  also 
Mrs.  Mary  Haskell  and  Miss  Eliza  Holmes. 

The  congregational  council  was  composed  of 
the  following  gentlemen  :  Rev.  Hutchins  Taylor, 
m<i(lerator:  Rev.  Dexter  Clary.  Beloit :  Rev. 
Lewis   Benedict,  Rockton  :  Rev.   R.   M.  Pearson, 


PAST  AXD  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


67 


Grand  DeTour  ;  Rev.  Lansing  Porter,  Rockford  ; 
Horace  Hobart,  delegate  from  Beloit.  Rev.  R.  M. 
Pearson  was  chosen  scribe  of  the  council ;  prayer 
was  offered  by  Rev.  H.  Taylor ;  and  Rev.  L.  Ben- 
edict preached  the  sermon.  The  covenant  and 
articles  of  faith  were  read  by  the  clerk,  and  pub- 
licly approved  by  the  church.  An  address  to  the 
church  and  deacons  was  delivered  by  Rev.  Dexter 
Clary.  The  council  then  formally  declared  the 
Second  Congregational  church  of  Rockford  to 
be  duly  and  orderly  organized. 

Since  the  mother  church  had  vacated  its  first 
house  of  worship  on  the  corner  of  Church  and 
Green  streets  for  the  new  brick  structure  on  the 
east  side,  the  fomier  had  been  unoccupied.  The 
Second  church  now  returned  to  the  house  which 
many  of  its  members  had  abandoned  less  than 
four  years  previous.  Messrs.  Kent  and  Brink- 
erhoff  had  failed  in  business,  and  the  old  edifice 
was  sold  by  their  assignee  to  the  Second  church. 
It  was  placed  on  a  rock  foundation  and  refitted 
for  worship. 

The  first  pastor  of  the  new  church  was  Rev. 
Lansing  Porter.  This  gentleman  had  served  the 
First  church  as  its  pastor  a  little  more  than  two 
years.  The  records  of  the  Second  church  do  not 
show  that  any  formal  call  was  extended  to  Rev. 
Porter.  But  he  assumed  this  position  as  soon  as 
the  organization  had  been  effected  November  7, 
1849,  ^""i  served  four  years. 

Mr.  Porter  pursued  two  years  of  his  college 
course  at  Hamilton  and  two  years  at  Wesleyan 
college,  and  was  graduated  from  the  latter  in  the 
class  of  1839.  He  then  took  the  full  three  years' 
course  in  Yale  Theological  seminary,  and  a  year 
of  post-graduate  work  at  Auburn  Theological 
seminary.  Mr.  Porter  went  to  Chicago  in  1843, 
and  from  there  he  caine  to  Rockford,  when  he 
was  less  than  thirty  years  of  age.  Mr.  Porter's 
first  pastorate  was  that  of  the  First  Congrega- 
tional church,  Rockford.  He  is  now  living  at 
Hamburg,  New  York. 

In  1851  the  church  was  found  to  be  too  small, 
and  its  capacity  was  increased  by  the  addition  of 
forty  feet  to  its  length. 

December  31,  1853,  Rev.  Porter  severed  his 
pastoral  relation.  At  a  meeting  held  December 
1 6th  of  the  same  year,  it  was  voted  to  extend  a 
call  to  Rev.  Joseph  Emerson.  This  call  was  ac- 
cepted. May  21,  1854,  a  congregational  council 
convened  in  the  church  for  the  transaction  of 
business  incident  to  the  settlement  of  the  pastor. 
The  installation  services  occurred  on  the  follow- 
ing day. 

Rev.  Emerson  was  a  son  of  Rev.  Daniel  Emer- 
son ;  a  cousin  of  Ralph  Emerson,  of  Rockford,  and 
a  second  cousin  of  the  famous  Ralph  Waldo  Em- 
erson. Joseph  Emerson  was  born  in  Dartmouth, 
Massachusetts,  in  1806,  and  died  at  Andover, 
Massachusetts,  in  1885.     JNIr.  Emerson  was  grad- 


uated from  Yale  college  in  1830,  and  from  An- 
dover Theological  seminary,  in  1835.  He  re- 
ceived his  ordination  in  1836.  His  pastorate  in 
Rockford  was  eminently  successful.  He  built  the 
house  on  North  Church  street,  where  Ralph  Em- 
erson now  resides. 

The  pastorate  of  Rev.  Emerson  was  signalized 
bv  the  erection  of  the  second  house  of  w'orship  on 
South  Church  street.  July  19,  1855,  the  society 
voted  that  it  was  expedient  to  take  action  toward 
building  a  new  church.  A  committee,  consisting 
of  D.  G.  Clark,  G.  A.  Sanford,  T.  D.  Robertson, 
John  Edwards  and  John  S.  Coleman  was  ap- 
pointed to  carry  out  the  same.  In  1856  subscrip- 
tion papers  were  circulated.  A  building  com- 
mittee was  composed  of  John  Edwards,  D.  G. 
Clark,  J.  G.  jNIanlove,  G.  A.  Sanford,  Ralph  Em- 
erson and  T.  D.  Robertson.  A  correspondence 
was  opened  with  Renwick  &  Auchmuty,  a  firm 
of  architects  in  New  York,  and  from  them  was 
received  in  the  summer  of  1856  plans  and  speci- 
fications for  the  structure.  The  committee  in- 
vited proposals.  The  most  favorable  response 
was  received  from  David  and  James  Keyt,  of 
Piqua,  Ohio.  The  committee,  before  letting  so 
large  a  contract,  desired  to  obtain  definite  infor- 
mation concerning  the  character  and  standing  of 
the  bidders.  John  Edwards  was  sent  to  Piqua  to 
make  an  inquiry.  The  result  of  his  mission  was 
so  satisfactory  that  the  contract  was  let  to  the 
Messrs.  Keyt  for  the  sum  of  twenty-three  thou- 
sand four  hundred  and  seventy-eight  dollars  and 
seventy-eight  cents. 

Work  was  begun  on  the  building  May  17.  1857, 
and  was  completed  in  the  autumn  of  1858.  The 
plans  provided  for  a  stone  porch  in  front,  and  a 
lecture  room  in  the  rear.  Upon  signing  the  con- 
tract, the  rear  extension  was  omitted,  because  the 
committee  could  not  depend  upon  obtaining 
money  to  pay  for  the  same  ;  and  still  later  the 
porch  was  also  abandoned,  which  reduced  the  ex- 
pense about  fourteen  hundred  dollars.  The 
building  committee  met  great  difiiculty  in  prose- 
cuting "the  work,  and  during  its  progress  the  fi- 
nancial panic  of  1857  came  upon  the  country. 
It  was  one  of  the  most  severe  strains  in  the  money 
market  in  the  history  of  the  country.  October 
13th,  of  that  year,  the  New  York  banks  suspend- 
ed specie  payment.  The  committee  had  fortu- 
natelv  negotiated  a  loan  for  six  thousand  dollars, 
with  a  gentleman  in  New  Jersey,  on  the  first  of 
October.  This  loan  was  made,  as  were  nearly  all 
the  loans  on  the  personal  notes  of  the  building 
committee.  The  loan  of  four  thousand  dollars 
was  also  secured  bv  a  mortgage  given  by  G.  A. 
Sanford,  T.  D.  Robertson  and  W.  A.  Dickerman, 
on  their  individual  property.  The  document  was 
preserved  for  many  years  as  a  memorial  of  the 
courage  of  the  builders. 

Farewell  services  were  held  in  the  old  church 


68 


PAST     AXD     PRESEXT    OF     \VL\XK1!AG()     O  JUXTV. 


on  Sunday,  Xovcnibr  28tli.  Alter  this  little 
sanctuary  had  outlived  its  usefulness  in  a  grow- 
inj^  city,  it  was  donated  to  the  peo])le  in  Owen 
townshii),  where  it  was  again  used  as  a  house  of 
worship. 

The  new  church  was  dedicated  Thursday,  De- 
cember 2.  1858.  The  dedicatory  sermon  was 
preached  by  the  pastor.  This  churcii  continued 
to  be  the  house  of  worship  for  nearly  thirty-four 
years,  until  the  spring  of  1892.  It  has  been  said 
that  1'.  r.  liliss,  the  famous  gospel  singer  and 
composer,  wrote  his  best  known  song,  "Mold  the 
Fort,"  in  this  church.  Among  the  distinguished 
persons  who  have  entertained  Rockford  au- 
diences from  this  pul])it  are  Rev.  Lyman  .Vbbott, 
D.  D.,  and  Mrs.  Julia  Ward  Howe. 

July  30.  1859,  Rev.  Emerson  tendered  Iiis  res- 
ignation ;  and  on  August  23d  an  ecclesiastical 
council  convened  at  the  church,  and  dissolved  the 
pastoral  relation.  The  church  did  not  long  re- 
main without  an  un(ler-she])herd.  At  a  regular 
meeting  of  the  church  December  7,  1859,  a  call 
was  extended  to  Rev.  Jeremiah  E.  Walton.  This 
call  was  accepted,  although  there  is  no  record  of 
his  installation.  This  pastorate  continued  until 
December,  1863. 

Mr.  Walton  graduated  from  Williams  college 
in  1853,  and  from  Hartford  seminary  in  1856. 
He  came  to  Rockford  from  Troy,  Xew  York, 
wlien  a  young  man.  full  of  hojie  and  enthusiasm. 
Mr.  Walton  entertained  religious  views  similar 
to  those  held  by  the  late  Horace  Bushnell,  and 
especially  those  concerning  Christian  nurture. 
After  his  removal  from  Rockford  Rev.  Walton 
took  orders  as  a  priest  in  the  Episcojjal  church. 
He  subsequently  returned  to  Rockford,  antl  be- 
came the  rector  of  Emmanuel  church. 

The  pipe  organ  was  constructed  in  1863.  at  a 
cost  of  about  two  thousand  five  hundred  dollars. 
Rev.  M.  P.  Kinney  was  called  to  the  pastorate 
August  10,  1864;  and  an  ecclesiastical  council 
was  convened  November  29th.  Rev.  Frank  B. 
Woodbury,  D.  D.,  was  called  Xovember  23,  1870. 
He  was  succeeded  in  1888  by  the  late  Rev.  W'al- 
ter  Maiming  Barrows,  D.  D.  His  successors 
have  been  Rev.  W'eslev  P.  Haskell  and  Rev.  Peter 
M.  Sny<ler. 

A  magnificent  new  temple  of  worship  on  North 
Church  street  was  dedicated  May  8,  1892. 
I'ebruary  20,  1894,  this  church  was  destroyed  by 
fire.  Only  the  bare  walls  remained.  There  were 
valiant  Xehemiahs  ready  to  build  a  second  tem- 
ple, which  was  dedicated  December  2,  1895. 

The  longest  ])astorate  was  that  of  the  Rev. 
Frank  P.  Woodbury,  who  served  eighteen  years, 
from  1870  to  1888.  Only  two  resident  charter 
members  are  now  living;  Mrs.  Caroline  M.  Dick- 
erman  and  Mrs.  Emily  G.  Sanford-Dodd. 

The  church  property  is  valued  at  $100,000.  Its 
membership  is  about  730. 


I.\C()KI'OR.\TIO.N    Ol"  KOCKl-OKD  AS  A  CITY. 

Three  nearly  contemporary  events  contributed 
ti)  the  progress  of  Ruckford  from  the  simple  vil- 
lage to  its  more  commanding  position  as  a  city. 
The  advent  of  the  railroad,  the  first  in  importance, 
has  already  been  noted.  The  organization  of  the 
new  water-power  coiupany  is  reserved  for  later 
paragrai^hs.  The  third  factor  was  the  incorpora- 
tion of  Rockford  as  a  city. 

.\s  early  as  185 1  the  citizens  realized  llial  the 
local  government  was  no  longer  a(le(|uate  to  meet 
the  needs  of  the  rapidly  increasing  |)opulation. 
In  the  autunui  of  that  year  steps  were  taken  for 
the  organization  of  a  city  government.  In  pur- 
suance of  a  call,  signed  by  Jason  Marsh,  G.  A. 
.Sanford,  Willard  Wheeler,  Isaiah  Lynon,  George 
W'yatt,  Xewton  Crawford,  C.  I.  Horsman,  W'.  A. 
Dickernian.  W'.  P.  Dennis.  Jesse  Bliim  and  Wil- 
liam 1  lulin,  a  meeting  was  held  at  the  court  house 
Xovember  29th.  It  was  deemed  advisable  at  this 
conference  to  submit  the  (|uestion  of  city  organi- 
zation io  a  vote  of  the  citizens.  The  trustees  of 
the  town  thereupon  ordered  an  election  for  this 
jjurpose  to  be  held  Jaiuiary  3,  1852.  There  was 
no  excitement  to  call  out  the  voters,  as  the  pros- 
pective change  was  generally  accepted  as  a  matter 
of  course.  One  hundred  and  nine  votes  were 
cast  for  organizing  under  the  general  law  of 
iS4().  The  city  government  of  S])ringfield,  Illi- 
nois, was  adopted  as  a  basis  of  organization. 

ihe  first  election  under  the  new  order  was  held 
April  19,  1852.  The  candidates  for  mayor  were 
W'illard  Wheeler  and  E.  M.  Potter.  The  election 
resulted  in  the  choice  of  Mr.  Wheeler.  The 
aldermen  elected  were :  Sumner  Damon,  First 
ward;  E.  H.  Potter,  Second  ward;  H.  N.  Spald- 
ing, Third  ward  ;  C.  N.  Andrews.  Fourth  ward. 
The  first  meeting  of  the  city  council  was  held  on 
Monday,  April  26th,  at  the  counting  room  of 
Eleazer  H.  Potter.  William  Lathrop  was  ap- 
pointed city  clerk.  An  ordinance  was  passed 
creating  the  following  city  officers :  Clerk  of  the 
council,  attorney,  treasurer,  marshal,  assessor, 
collector,  engineer  and  two  street  commissioners. 
These  officers  were  to  be  appointed  annually  by 
the  city  council  at  its  first  regular  meeting  after 
the  annual  municipal  election.  At  the  second 
session  of  the  council,  held  May  ist.  the  follow- 
ing city  officers  were  appointed :  W'illiam  Lath- 
ro]),  attorney;  Hiram  R.  Maynard,  treasurer; 
Dimcan  iHTguson,  assessor;  K.  H.  Millikcn,  col- 
lector; Duncan  Ferguson,  city  engineer; 
Thatcher  I'lake  and  William  McKcnney.  street 
commissioners. 

An  act  of  the  legislature  of  June  18,  1852, 
authorized  the  city  of  Rockford  to  borrow  money, 
not  exceeding  ten  tliousand  dollars,  for  the  pur- 
|)ose  of  constructing  a  bridge.  Bonds  were  to  be 
issuetl.  in  the  sum  of  one  hundred  dollars  each, 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


69 


bearing-  interest  not  exceeding  ten  per  cent.,  and 
were  to  be  redeemed  within  twenty  years  from 
issue.  The  sum  was  evidently  insufficient  for  the 
purpose :  and  an  act  of  the  legislature  of  Febru- 
ary 3,  1853,  authorized  the  city  to  borrow  a  max- 
imum sum  of  fifteen  thousand  dollars.  Bonds 
were  to  be  issued  in  sums  not  exceeding  one 
thousand  dollars  each,  payable  within  twenty 
years,  and  to  draw  interest  not  exceeding  ten  per 
cent.  The  act  of  1852  was  repealed.  There  is 
a  tradition  that  Jason  Marsh  was  sent  east  to  ne- 
gotiate the  sale  of  the  bonds,  for  which  he 
charged  a  commission  of  ten  per  cent.  This  fee 
was  very  reluctantly  paid.  To-day  Rockford  can 
borrow  money  at  a  very  low  rate  of  interest,  and 
command  a  liberal  premium  on  her  lx)nds.  The 
second  or  covered  bridge  was  built  in  1854,  with 
the  funds  derived  from  the  sale  of  bonds  the  pre- 
ceding year.     This  bridge  stood  imtil  December, 

1871,  when  it  was  torn  down  and  succeeded  by 
the    first    iron    bridge. 

There  was  some  technical  irregularity  in  the 
incorporation  of  the  city :  and  an  act  of  the  legis- 
lature approved  February  8,  1853,  legalized  the 
previous  official  acts  of  the  mayor  and  covmcil. 
Section  two  of  this  law  provided :  "That  all 
official  acts  of  the  council  and  of  the  mayor  or 
either  of  them,  of  said  city,  done  or  performed 
since  their  election  as  such,  and  prior  to  the  period 
this  act  shall  take  eiifect,  and  which  would  have 
been  valid  in  case  the  original  incorporation  as  a 
city  had  been  legal,  be  and  the  same  is  liereby  le- 
gahzed." 

A  special  charter  was  granted  to  the  city  by  the 
legislature  March  4,  1854.  By  this  act  the  gen- 
eral law  of  1849  was  declared  to  be  no  longer  in 
force,  so  far  as  Rockford  was  concerned,  except 
for  the  purpose  of  supplementing  proceedings 
had  or  commenced,  so  as  not  to  impair  the  legal 
consequences  of  any  past  transaction.  This 
charter  was  amended  February  4,  1855,  April  26, 
1859,  and  February  22,  1861.  "An  act  to  re- 
duce the  charter  of  the  city  of  Rockford.  and  the 
several  acts  amendatory  thereof  into  one  act  and 
to  revise  and  amend  the  same"  was  approved 
February  15,  1865.  Rockford  was  governed  by 
this  charter  until  the  city  was  reorganized  under 
the   general  law.     This  general  law.  enacted  in 

1872,  repealed  the  general  law  of  1849,  and 
abolished  the  system  of  special  charters.  Between 
these  dates  there  appear  to  have  been  two  meth- 
ods for  the  incorporation  of  cities  in  force  at  the 
same  time ;  by  a  general  law,  and  by  a  special 
charter.  It  may  be  presumed  that  a  city  generally 
obtained  greater  powers  under  a  special 
charter  than  by  a  general  law  :  and  the  former 
method  of  incorporation  was  more  generally 
adopted  by  the  cities  of  the  State. 

In  1855  steps  were  taken  for  the  organization 
of  a  fire  department.     Its  need  had  daily  become 


apparent.  A  committee,  appointed  by  the  city 
council,  purchased  four  small  engines,  named 
Constantine,  Alexander,  Sevastopol  and  Nicho- 
las. The  Sevastopol  was  received  in  the  latter 
part  of  October,  and  February  21,  1856,  a  public 
trial  was  made  of  the  engines,  all  of  which  had 
arrived.  The  result  was  not  altogether  satisfac- 
tory, and  the  "machines"  with  Russian  names 
were  discarded.  In  May  and  June,  Winnebago 
Engine  Company  Number  One,  and  Washing- 
ton Number  Two  were  organized,  and  nearly  a 
year  later  the  efficient  engines  bearing  those 
names  were  received.  Subsequently  Union  En- 
gine Company  Number  Three  was  formed,  and 
an  engine  procured.  These  three  engines  con- 
stituted the  fire  apparatus  of  the  city  as  late  as 
1869.  The  first  six  chief  engineers  were  Ed- 
ward F.  W.  Ellis.  Samuel  I.  Church.  M.  A.  Bart- 
lett,  Howard  D.  Frost,  A.  G.  Springsteen,  Gard- 
ner S.  Allen.  The  first  four  assistant  engineers 
were  Gardner  S.  .Mien,  James  E.  L.  Southgate, 
Charles  T.  Jellerson,  Hiram  H.  Waldo. 

The  tax  levies  for  the  first  few  years  under  the 
new  regime  were  as  follows :  1854,  seven  and 
one-half  mills  on  each  dollar  of  taxable  property, 
both  real  and  personal :  1855,  ten  mills  on  each 
dollar;  1856,  one  and  three-quarters  per  cent,  on 
each  dollar ;  1857,  one  and  one-half  per  cent. ; 
1858,  one  and  five-eighths  per  cent. ;  1859,  two 
and  one-half  per  cent. ;  i860,  two  per  cent. ;  1861, 
two  per  cent.  It  will  be  observed  that  the  rate 
increased  each  year  up  to   1859. 

ELKCTIO.X'S   OF    1 852-53. 

In  the  presidential  election  of  1852  Winneba- 
go county  maintained  its  position  as  a  whig 
stronghold.  The  presidential  electors  received 
1,023  votes;  the  Democratic  electors,  820;  Free 
Soil  electors.  725. 

Under  the  apportionment  of  August  22,  1852, 
the  legislature  divided  the  state  into  nine  congres- 
sional districts.  The  first  district  comprised  the 
counties  of  Fake,  McHenry,  Boone.  Winnebago, 
Stephenson,  Jo  Daviess,  Carroll  and  Ogle. 

The  campaign  of  1852  was  signalized  by  the 
election  of  E.  B.  Washburne  as  a  member  of  con- 
gress from  the  First  district.  Mr.  Washburne 
received  1.102  votes  in  W^innebago  county; 
Thompson  Campbell,  his  democratic  opponent, 
851  ;  and  Newman  Campbell,  610  votes. 

Abraham  I.  Enoch  was  elected  a  member  of  the 
legislature  from  the  Forty-seventh  senatorial  dis- 
trict. His  vote  in  Winnebago  county  was 
1,063;  Lyman  F.  Warner,  democrat,  840;  Ezra 
S.  Cable,  659.  Mr.  Enoch  was  born  in  Dayton, 
Ohio.  July  24,  1819.  He  came  to  this  county 
with  his  father's  family  in  1835,  and  settled  in 
Guilford  township.  Mr.  EnocK  was  honored  by 
several  public  offices,  and  in  1866  he  was  again 


I'AST     AM)     1'K1-:S1':.\T     Uh"     WIXXEnAGO     COUXTV. 


elected  a  moinlKT  of  tlic  legislature.  Mr.  Enoch 
reniovetl  to  Rock  ford  in  1S67,  and  bejjan  the 
inaiui  fact  lire  of  plows.     He  died  ni  1883. 

William  I'.rown  was  elected  state's  attorney 
for  tile  I'ourteentli  judicial  circuit.  Mis  majori- 
ties in  the  several  counties  were:  \\'iiinel)ag;o, 
650:  Stephenson.  480:  Jo  Daviess,  ^j ;  total. 
1.217.  Hi*  opponents  were  I'rancis  Ihirnap. 
John  C.  Kean  and  Francis  S.  W.  Bradley. 

Charles  H.  Sjiafford  was  elected  circuit  clerk 
by  an  even  one  thousand  votes;  Kinp  H.  Milli- 
ken  was  elected  sherilT:  .\lfred  A.  ChamlxTlaiii, 
coroner. 

At  the  county  election  in  1853  the  entire  \\\u'^ 
ticket  was  successful.  Sehien  M.  Church  was 
elected  county  judije :  .\sher  ISeach  and  .\lfred 
E.  Hale,  associate  justices :  William  Hiilin, 
county  clerk:  C.  .\.  Huntington,  school  commis- 
sioner ;  Duncan  I'eriruson,  county  treasurer ; 
Duncan  Ferguson,  surveyor. 

KAKl.V   n.WS  ON    TIM-:   W.VTKR   I'OWKH. 

July  15,  1851.  many  of  the  leading  ])uhlic- 
spirited  citizens  of  the  town  associated  them- 
selves together  under  the  name  of  the  Rockford 
Water  Power  Company.  These  gentlemen  were : 
Thomas  D.  Robertson.  John  .\.  Holland,  R.  P. 
Lane.  (i.  .\.  Sanford.  \V.  .\.  Dickerman.  .S.  M. 
Church.  ( )rlando  Clark.  C.  I.  Horsman.  John 
ICdwards,  John  S.  Cok-man,  John  l'"isher.  Wil- 
liam Hulin.  Isaiah  Lyon,  Melancthoii  Starr, 
C.  H.  Spafford,  Lucius  Clark,  J.  J.  Town,  Henry 
Potwin.  H.  R.  .Maynard,  James  H.  Rogers,  15. 
McKennv.   John   Piatt.  Albert  Sanford.  Chas.  C. 

Hope.  H.   i\   Kimball.  Robert  Clow.  

\'anduzer  and  McCoy.  This  organi- 
zation was  effected  in  pursuance  of  the  general 
law  enacted  by  the  legislature  in  1849.  for  the  im- 
provement of  Rock  river  and  the  production  of 
liydraulic  power.  In  Sei)tembcr.  1831,  the 
owners  of  the  water  and  land  under  the  old  com- 
pany entered  into  an  agreement  with  the  new 
company,  whereby  the  two  interests  were  con- 
soliclated,  and  stejis  were  immediately  taken  for 
the  construction  of  a  |)ermanent  rlam  on  the  rock 
Ixittom  of  the  old  ford,  from  which  the  city  de- 
rives its  name.  In  the  s])ring  of  1853  the  dam 
and  race  were  ci>m|)leted  and  accepted  by  the 
coni|)any.  The  length  of  the  dam  is  between 
seven  hundred  and  eight  hundred  feet.  The 
water  power  is  divided  into  twenty  thousand 
parts,  and  is  held  and  sold  in  this  projiortion. 

The  first  great  impetus  given  to  the  manufac- 
turing interests  of  Rockford  was  the  advent  of 
John  H.  Manny,  in  1853,  to  whom  further  ref- 
erence is  made  in  later  paragra])hs.  There  were 
however,  other  firms  doing  a  general  manufac- 
turing business  in  the  city. 

.\bout  1848  James  B.  Skinner  began  business, 
which  developed  into  the  firm  of  Skinner.  Briggs 


&  luioch.  He  was  a  son  of  Deacon  Ste])hen 
.Skinner,  who  had  a  blacksmith  shop  on  Xorth 
.Main  street,  about  where  Louck's  restaurant  now 
stands.  James  B.  worked  with  his  father  some 
\ears  in  the  sho]).  and  then  began  business  for 
himself.  In  1850  he  erected  a  larger  building 
and  o|)erated  eleven  forges.  This  l)lacksmith 
shop  was  said  to  be  the  largest  in  the  west  at  that 
time.  To  this  business  he  later  added  the  man- 
ufacture of  wagons.  Mr.  Skinner  was  the  in- 
ventor of  the  first  riding  cultivator,  rolling  coul- 
ter, single  riding  i)low  and  gang  plow.  In  1867 
a  Mr.  .Mead  and  C.  C.  Briggs  were  taken  in  as 
partners.  In  January.  i8f)8.  Mr.  Mead  retired 
and  was  succeeded  by  .\.  I.  luioch.  under  the  firm 
name  of  Skinner.  Briggs  &  Enoch.  Plows  and 
cultivators  formed  a  large  i)art  of  their  output. 
The  company  outgrew  its  limited  ])lant  and  re- 
moved to  the  water-])ower.  .Mr.  .Skinner  died 
in  187J.  and  C.  C.  I'-riggs  and  .\.  I.  Enoch  pur- 
chased the  interest  of  the  Skinner  estate. 

W.  D.  Trahern  came  to  Rockford  in  1848,  and 
soon  after  began  the  manufaclure  of  threshing 
machines  and  horse-powers,  under  the  firm  name 
of  Trahern  &  Stuart.  Mr.  Stuart  retired  in  1856, 
and  was  succeeded  by  William  Dales.  He 
with<lrew  from  the  firm  in  i8f)2.  and  from  that 
time  .Mr.  Trahern  conducted  the  business  alone 
until  his  death  in  1883.  In  later  vears  Mr.  Tra- 
lieni  devoted  his  exclusive  attention  to  the  man- 
ufacture of  iron  pumps.  Mr.  Dales  subsequently 
engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  the  wood  portions 
of  grain  separators,  and  did  general  job  work  in 
hard  wood  and  sheet  metal. 

In  1851  ( )rlando  Clark  began  the  erection  of 
a  foun(lry  on  the  water-jiower.  He  came  to 
Rockford  in  1847.  and  established  a  foundry  on 
the  west  side  race,  where  he  remained  until  the 
old  dam  went  out  in  1831.  He  was  one  of  the 
incorporators  of  the  new  water-power  company 
a  few  months  later. 

In  1832  Isaac  I'tter  came  fn>ni  Warsaw. 
X.  v..  and  formed  a  i)artnership  with  Mr.  Clark, 
under  the  firm  name  of  t  lark  &  I'tter.  In  the 
spring  of  1833  this  firm  manufactured  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  combined  rea|)ers  and  mowers  for 
John  H.  Mannv.  In  xHCv)  the  firm  manufactured 
one  thousand  ( iorham  seeders.  Their  output  also 
included  sugar  mills,  evaporators  and  steam  en- 
gines. 

D.  Forbes  &  Son  established  an  iron  foundry 
in  1834,  and  in  ^iV^  the  iinlleable  iron  works 
were  added  to  the  busimss. 

X.  C.  Thompson  came  to  Rockford  in  1837.  and 
built  u])  one  of  the  largest  jilants  on  the  waier- 
|)<)wer.  which  at  one  time  covered  several  acres. 
A  capital  of  a  (|uarter  of  a  million  dollars  was  re- 
i|uired  to  carry  on  the  business.  The  John  P. 
.Slannv  reaper  and  mower  was  manufactured  ex- 
clusively by  .Mr.  Thom|)son. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


71 


Frederick  H.  Manny  came  to  Rockford  in 
1859  and  built  a  large  plant.  He  manufactured 
the  John  H.  Alanny  combined  reaper  and  mower, 
and  the  Rockford  broadcast  seed  sower  and  cul- 
tivators combined. 

Flouring  mills  were  an  important  factor  in 
Rockford  industries.  Moses  Bartlett  built  a 
stone  mill  on  the  east  side  in  1854,  with  four 
stories.  Joseph  Rodd  came  to  Rockford  from 
Canada  in  the  autumn  of  1853,  and  a  few  years 
later  he  embarked  in  the  milling  business  on  the 
east  side  of  the  river.  The  Troxell  mill  was 
built  on  the  east  side  in  1853,  and  was  purchased 
by  ]\Ir.  Bartlett  in  1865.  ^^Ir.  Bartlett  also 
owned  a  large  mill  on  the  west  side.  E.  Derwent 
completed  a  mill  on  the  east  side  in  1863.  T.  Der- 
went &  Sons  began  milling  business  in  Rockford 
in  1859.  This  plant  is  now  owned  bv  A.  L.  Bart- 
lett &  Co. 

There  were  also  several  ])laning  mills.  La- 
pointe  &  Derwent  began  business  on  the  water- 
power  in  1866.  In  the  same  year  J.  F.  Lander 
erected  a  three-story  structure,  which  was  subse- 
quently occupied  by  Blakeman  &  Dobson  as  a 
sash  and  blind  factory,  and  now  owned  by  the 
Rockford  Bolt  Works'. 

Nelson  &  Co.  began  business  in  1865.  Camp- 
bell &  Wood  commenced  business  in  1866  in  a 
building  which  partially  covered  a  large  founda- 
tion for  a  planing  mill,  laid  by  Thomas  Garrison, 
at  the  west  end  of  the  dam,  but  never  completed. 
George  Bradley  &  Co.  opened  the  first  steam 
planing  mill  in  1868,  in  a  building  now  occupied 
by  C.  J.  Weldon  as  a  carriage  shop. 

Among  the  other  manufacturers  were  Bertrand 
&  Sames.  who  began  business  in  the  middle  fif- 
ties;  Graham  cotton  mill,  1865;  Rhoades,  Utter 
&  Co.,  paper  mill,  1865  :  Rockford  \\'oolen  ]\Iills, 
J.  &  W.  Dyson,  1865  ;  Northwestern  Bolt  Works, 
G.  Sunsaul  &  Co.,  1866. 

FA.Mors    m.vnxv-m'corjiick   .suit. 

This  story  has  often  been  told,  but  it  will  never 
cease  to  be  of  interest  to  Rockford  readers.  The 
interest  is  more  than  local.  John  H.  .Manny,  the 
defendant  in  the  suit,  was  the  inventive  genius 
whose  patents  laid  the  foundations  for  the  great 
Emerson  manufacturing  plant  on  the  water- 
power.  Cyrus  H.  McCormick,  the  plaintifif,  was 
the  inventor  of  the  reaper,  and  the  founder  of  the 
theological  seminary  in  Chicago  which  bears  his 
name.  It  was  during  the  progress  of  this  suit 
that  .A-braham  Lincoln  made  his  only  visit  to 
Rockford.  Several  of  the  leading  attorneys  of 
the  countr>'  were  retained.  Among  them  were 
Reverdy  Johnson,  Peter  H.  Watson,  George 
Harding  and  Edward  M.  Stanton.  The  outcome 
of  the  decision  involved  many  millions  of  dollars, 
and  vitallv  affected  Rockford  as  a  manufacturing 


center.  The  suit  was  one  of  the  most  notable 
chapters  in  the  industrial  development  of  the 
country. 

John  H.  Atanny  was  born  in  Amsterdam,  New 
York,  November  28,  1825.  His  father.  Pells 
Manny,  settled  at  \\'addams  Grove,  in  Stephen- 
son county.  The  younger  iManny's  attention 
was  called  to  the  need  of  a  reaper  by  his  father's 
purchase  of  a  heading  machine,  which  proved  un- 
satisfactory. The  father  and  son  thereupon  so 
constructed  the  header  as  to  practically  make  a 
new  machine.  They  obtained  a  patent  on  the 
header,  and  began  its  manufacture  on  a  small 
scale.  It  proved  to  be  too  expensive  and  was 
abandoned.  iMr.  IManny  then  directed  his  atten- 
tion toward  a  reaper,  and  after  many  vicissitudes, 
which  brou.ght  him  to  serious  financial  embar- 
rassment, his  inventive  genius  and  indomitable 
energy  were  crowned  with  success.  ?i[r.  Alanny 
built  eighty-four  machines  in    1852. 

In  July,  1852,  a  reaper  trial  was  held  in  Ge- 
neva, New  York,  in  which  Mr.  Manny's  reaper 
came  into  competition  with  eleven  others.  The 
excellence  of  Mr.  iManny's  machine  was  estab- 
lished. 

In  the  spring  of  1853  Mr.  iManny  was  urged 
to  come  to  Rockford  by  Orlando  Clark.  The 
preceding  year  Isaac  Utter  came  from  the  east 
and  formed  a  partnership  with  Mr.  Clark,  under 
the  firm  name  of  Clark  &  Utter.  In  the  spring 
of  1853  there  were  manufactured  one  hundred 
and  fifty  of  Mr.  Manny's  combined  reapers  and 
mowers  in  Clark  &  Utter's  factory.  It  is  also 
said  that  John  A.  Holland  told  Blinn  &  Emer- 
son, who  were  then  in  the  hardware  business, 
that  it  would  be  desirable  to  have  Mr.  Manny 
come  to  Rockford  for  two  reasons :  First,  there 
was  better  water-power :  second,  the  firm  was  ex- 
tendin.o-  liberal  credit  to  Mr.  Manny  for  stock. 

The  popularity  of  the  Manny  reaper  demanded 
larger  capital.  In  the  spring  of  1834  Wait  and 
Sylvester  Talcott  became  associated  with  IMr. 
Manny  as  partners,  under  the  firm  name  of  J.  H. 
Mannv  &  Co.,  and  during  the  year  eleven  hun- 
dred machines  were  made.  In  the  autumn  of 
1854  Jesse  Blinn  and  Ralph  Emerson  were  added 
to  the  firm  and  the  name  was  changed  to 
IManny  &  Company.  In  1855  the  famous  trials 
of  the  IMannv  reaper  were  made  in  Europe, 
which  gave  to  his  invention  a  reputation  abroad. 
'Sir.  Mannv  continued  to  improve  his  reaper,  and 
obtained  twenty-three  patents  upon  new  devices. 

In  September.  1855,  Cyrus  H.  McCormick,  of 
Chicago,  began  suit  in  the  federal  court  to  en- 
join the  Manny  company  from  using  a  certain  de- 
vice upon  the  grounds  of  infringement  of  pat- 
ent. The  case  was  heard  before  Justice  McLean 
and  Judge  Drummond  at  Cincinnati,  although 
the  court  records  were  kept  in  Chicago,  which 
belonared  to  the  same  circuit.     Attorneys  of  na- 


72 


PAST     AND     ri>JESEXT     OF     W  I. WE  I '.AGO     COrXTY 


tioiuil  rcpulatiiiii  were  retained.  Mr.  AlcCor- 
mick's  counsel  were  Reverdy  Johnson  and  E. 
X.  Dickinson.  Peter  H.  W'atson,  who  had  ob- 
tained Mr.  Manny's  patents,  was  g'iven  entire 
change    of    tlie    defendants'    case. 

Peter  II.  W'atson  was  an  early  resident  of 
Rockford.  He  and  his  l)rothcr  William  were 
])niprietors  of  the  first  frnnidry  and  machine  sho]), 
which  stood  on  the  site  of  Jeremiah  Davis'  resi- 
dence on  Xorth  Second  street.  Mr.  Watson 
continued  his  interest  in  the  foundry  until  .Au- 
gust. 1845.  .\fter  leavingf  Rockford  \\x.  Watson 
became  one  of  the  best  known  attorneys  of  the 
country.  lie  was  assistant  secretary  of  war  un- 
der Edwin  M.  Stanton ;  was  later  jiresident  of 
the  Erie  railway,  and  one  of  the  organizers  of 
what  is  now  the  Standard  Oil  Company. 

Mr.  Watson  employed  George  Harding,  Ed- 
win M.  Stanton  and  Abraham  Lincoln.  It  is  said 
E.  I'..  Washburnc  had  recommended  Mr.  Lin- 
cnln  to  Mr.  Manny.  When  all  the  ])arties  had 
arrived  at  Cincinnati  .Mr.  Lincoln  was  informed 
bv  Mr.  Watson  that  .Mr.  Stanton  would  close  the 
case  for  the  defendants.  This  was  a  great  humil- 
iation to  Mr.  Lincoln.  Although  he  had  prepared 
his  argument  Mr.  Lincoln  did  not  argue  the  case. 

Mr.  Lincoln  first  met  Mr.  Stanton  at  Cincinnati. 
Mr.  Stanton  treated  him  with  great  discourtesy 
during  the  trial  and  referred  to  him  as  a  rail 
sjilitter  from  the  wild  west.  Xot withstanding 
these  indignities  Mr.  Lincoln  was  imi)ressed  with 
Mr.  Stanton's  force  of  character ;  and  when  six 
years  later  a  man  of  iron  was  needed.  President 
Lincoln  made  Stanton  his  secretary  of  war.  No 
other  incident  in  the  life  of  Mr.  Lincoln  better 
illustrates  his  moral  greatness. 

The  trial  resulted  in  a  victory  for  the  Mannv 
Conipany.  The  decision  was  announced  January 
16,  1856.  The  defendants'  expenses  of  the  suit 
were  sixty  thousand  dollars,  and  this  large  sum 
was  paid  from  the  business  in  a  short  time.  Mr. 
McCormick  appealed  the  case  to  the  Cnited 
States  supreme  court,  of  which  Roger  Pi.  Taney, 
who  rendered  the  famous  Dred  Scott  decision, 
was  chief  justice.  The  decision  of  the  lower  court 
was  affirmed,  and  Mr.  Manny's  rights  as  an  in- 
ventor   were    fully    sustained. 

Icla  M.  Tarbell's  Life  of  Lincoln,  republished 
from  her  serial  in  McClurc's  Magazine,  gives 
an  incident  of  this  trial,  which  the  author  obtained 
from  Rali)h  Emerson,  who  says : 

".Mr.  Stanton  closed  his  speech  in  a  flight  of 
imi)assioned  elofjuence.  Tiien  the  court  ad- 
journed for  the  day,  and  Mr.  Lincoln  invited  me 
to  take  a  long  walk  with  him.  For  block  after 
block  he  walked  rapidly  forward,  not  saving  a 
word,  evidently  deeply  dejected. 

".\t  last  he  turned  suddenly  to  me,  exclaiming, 
'Emerson,  I  am  going  home.'  \  pause.  'I  ain 
going  hfinie  to  study  law.' 


"  "W  hy.  I  exclaimed,  '.Mr.  Lincoln,  you  stand 
at  the  head  of  the  bar  in  Illinois  now !  What  are 
you  talking  about  ?' 

■■  'Ah,  yes,'  he  said,  'I  do  occu])y  a  good  posi- 
tion there,  and  I  think  that  I  can  get  along  with 
the  way  things  are  done  there  now.  Put  these 
college  trained  men.  who  have  devoted  their 
whole  lives  to  study,  arc  coming  west,  don't  you 
see?  And  they  study  their  cases  as  we  never  do. 
Thev  have  got  as  far  as  Cincinnati  now.  They 
will  soon  be  in  Illinois."  Another  long  pause; 
then  sto])ping  and  turning  toward  me,  his  coun- 
tenance suddenly  assuming  that  look  of  strong 
determination  which  those  who  knew  him  best 
sometimes  saw  upon  his  face,  he  exclaimed,  'I 
am  going  home  to  study  law !  I  am  as  good  as 
anv  of  them,  and  when  they  get  out  to  Illinois  I 
will  be  ready  for  them.'  " 

Mr.  Lincoln's  only  visit  to  Rockford  was  on 
a  hot  summer  afternoon.  He  came  on  profes- 
sional busines.s'  in  connection  with  his  suit.  Mr. 
Lincoln  and  one  of  the  clients  sat  on  an  old  log 
on  the  bank  of  the  river  and  discussed  the  matter. 
Mr.  Lincoln  wore  a  long  linen  coat,  and  presented 
that  ])icture  of  ungainliness  with  which  the  world 
is  familiar.  Mr.  Lincoln  was  a  guest  at  Mr. 
Manny's  home,  which  was  a  small  frame  build- 
ing that  .stood  on  the  site  of  the  Mihvaukee  depot. 
The  company  paid  Mr.  Lincoln  a  fee  of  one  thou- 
sand dollars,  which  was  the  largest  retainer  he 
had  received  up  to  that  time. 

The  prolonged  mental  strain  incident  to  per- 
fecting his  inventions  and  the  trial  of  the  suit  un- 
dermined Mr.  Manny's  health.  He  fell  a  prey  to 
consumption,  and  January  37.  1856,  he  passed 
away,  in  his  little  modest  home  on  South  Main 
street,  when  he  had  just  ])asscd  his  thirtieth  birth- 
day. He  never  realized  the  w^eallh  which  his  in- 
ventions would  bring  to  others,  nor  the  prestige 
which  they  would  give  to  the  Reaper  City,  nor  the 
great  name  which  he  had  made  for  himself, 

Mrs.  Manny  received  a  royalty  of  twenty-five 
dollars  on  every  machine  manufactured.  This 
amount  was  subsequently  reduced.  Financial  re- 
verses overtook  the  comjiany  in  1857.  but  it 
weathered  the  storm  and  built  an  extensive  plant. 

During  the  summer  of  1903  the  Milwaukee 
Sentinel  jniblished  a  notable  article,  written  by  a 
special  Washington  correspondent,  which  pur- 
])orted  to  he  an  expose  of  the  "Inside  story  of  the 
great  fraud  perpetrated  on  Cyrus  Hall  McCor- 
mick, which  robbed  him  of  his  |)atent  rights  and 
barred  his  face  from  I'ncle  Sam's  currency."  The 
article  professetl  to  reveal  the  manner  by  which 
Colonel  William  Wood  purchased  every  McCor- 
mick reaper  known  to  exist  in  the  country,  one 
of  which  was  examined  by  a  patent  commissioner, 
and  subsc(|uently  so  tampered  with  and  changed 
by  Colonel  Wood  as  to  deceive  the  I'nited  States 
supreme  court  into  renilering  a  decision  against 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WLXXEBAGO     COUNTY. 


73 


Mr.  McCormick.  Col.  Wood  died  in  1903.  He 
was  superintendent  of  the  old  Capitol  and  Carrol 
prisons  during-  the  war  and  was  at  the  head  of 
the  United  States  secret  service  during  the  re- 
construction period. 

Mr.  McCormick  had  other  troubles.  In  1895 
an  efifort  was  made  to  have  the  portrait  of  Mr. 
]McCormick  placed  on  the  silver  certificates  of  the 
government  currency.  But  there  had  been  a  pro- 
longed controversy  between  the  rival  claims  of 
'Sir.  ]\IcCormick  and  Obed  Hussey  as  to  who  was 
the  real  inventor  of  the  reaper.  j\lr.  McCormick's 
old  rivals  and  enemies  came  forward  with  such 
vigorous  protests  and  so  clouded  his  title  to  an 
invention  that  the  government  abandoned  the 
idea  of  placing  his  name  upon  its  currency. 

There  are  several  small  volumes  in  the  Rock- 
ford  public  library  bearing  upon  the  various 
phases  of  this  historic  controversy. 

EMERPOX.   LOWELL  AND  GREELEY   \-ISIT   ROCKFORD. 

There  has  been  one  movement  in  the  history 
of  the  American  mind  which  gave  to  literature  a 
g-roup  of  writers  entitled  to  the  name  of  a  school. 
This  was  the  great  humanitarian  movement,  or 
series  of  movements,  in  New  England,  which  be- 
gan with  the  elder  Channing.  ran  through  its 
later  phase  in  transcendentalism,  and  spent  its 
force  in  the  anti-slavery  agitation  and  the  enthusi- 
asms of  the  civil  war.  This  intellectual  and  moral 
awakening  found  its  expression  in  the  lecture 
platform.  The  daily  newspaper  had  not  assumed 
its  present  blanket-sheet  proportions :  and  the 
leaders  of  these  various  phases  of  new  thought 
carried  their  message  to  the  people  in  person. 

In  the  autumn  of  1853  the  Young  i\Ien's  Asso- 
ciation was  organized,  for  the  purpose  of  bring- 
ing to  Rockford  the  most  popular  lecturers  of  the 
dav.  Among  its  members  were  Rev.  H.  M. 
Goodwin,  C.  H.  Spafford.  H.  H.  Waldo,  H.  P. 
Holland,  E.  W.  Blaisdell,  J.  E.  L.  Southgate, 
William  Lathrop,  R.  A.  Sanford,  E.  H.  Baker, 
Rev.  J.  Murray,  E.  C.  Daugherty,  A.  S.  Miller. 

The  first  course  was  provided  for  the  winter 
of  1853-54.  It  began  with  two  lectures,  Novem- 
ber 29th  and  30th.  by  E.  P.  Whipple,  in  the  First 
Baptist  church.  It  is  almost  incredible  that  one 
of  the  local  newspapers  should  not  have  even 
given  the  subject  of  his  lecture.  From  the  other, 
however,  it  is  learned  that  ]\Ir.  Whipple's  theme 
for  the  first  lecture  was  "Heroic  Character,"  and 
that  he  "delineated  graphically  and  beautifully, 
the  hero-soldier,  led  on  by  his  love  of  glory ;  the 
hero-patriot,  actuated  by  his  love  of  country ;  the 
hero-reformer,  moved  by  his  love  of  humanity ; 
and  the  hero-saint,  animated  by  his  love  of  God." 
The  subject  of  his  second  lecture  was  "Eccentric 
Character."  The  Forum's  criticism  was  not  very 
appreciative. 


The  third  lecture  was  given  December  loth,  at 
the  Baptist  church,  by  Horace  Mann.  His  sub- 
ject was  "Young  Alen."  The  Democrat,  in  "re- 
porting" the  lecture,  took  this  flattering  unction 
to  its  soul ;  "As  we  looked  around  over  the  large 
assemblage  of  youth,  beauty,  intellect  and  fashion, 
and  noted  with  what  anxiety  the  sea  of  heads 
were  turned  toward  the  speaker,  as  if  to  catch 
the  words  ere  they  left  his  lips,  we  experienced 
a  deep  feeling  of  pride,  and  thought  to  ourselves, 
few  places  in  any  land,  of  equal  age,  population, 
etc.,  can  boast  of  a  more  highly  refined  intellect- 
ual community  than  is  to  be  found  in  our  own 
little  embryo  city." 

The  fourth  lecture  was  given  in  the  City  Hall, 
by  George  \MlHam  Curtis,  December  12th.  His 
subject  was  "Young  America,'"  and  for  an  hour 
and  a  half  the  speaker  entranced  his  audience 
with  his  noble  thought  and  pure  diction. 

Horace  Greeley  followed  Mr.  Curtis.  His 
theme  was  "The  Reforms  of  the  Age."  He  spoke 
of  the  abolition  and  temperance  movements, 
woman's  rights,  and  the  abolition  of  the  death 
penalty.  ]\Ir.  Greeley  wrote  his  impressions  of  the 
Rock  River  valley  at  some  length  for  the  New 
York  Tribune,  from  which  his  characteristic 
paragraph  is  taken:  "I  have  traversed  the  Ro- 
man Campagna  ( which  is  only  a  great  wet  prairie 
surcharged  with  malaria  and  ruins),  glanced  at 
the  great  pastures  of  Belgium,  and  ridden  across 
the  prairies  of  central  and  northern  Indiana  by 
daylight,  lamplight  and  moonlight ;  but  still  I  was 
nowhere  in  a  discussion  of  the  value  and  attract- 
iveness of  prairies — for  I  had  never  been  on  Rock 
river.  But  now,  gentlemen !  I  give  you  fair 
warning  that  I  take  a  back  seat  no  longer  when 
the  felicities  of  western  life  and  the  genial  fer- 
tility and  Eden-like  character  of  the  prairies  is 
under  discussion,  for  I  have  been  on  Rock  river ! 
.  .  I  should  like  more  springs,  more  running 
streams,  and  less  lime  in  the  water ;  but  then  Par- 
adise is  beyond  Jordan,  or  some  other  stream, 
and  is  not  wisely  sought  even  on  Rock  river." 

The  next  speaker  was  Prof.  Joseph  Emerson, 
of  Beloit,  who  spoke  of  Greek  civilization.  W. 
H.  Channing  was  announced  for  January  27th, 
but  no  reference  to  the  lecture  is  found. 

Ralph  Waldo  Emerson  delivered  the  seventh 
lecture  in  the  course  February  3,  1854,  in  War- 
ner's Hall.  "Emerson's  lecture,"  says  H.  H. 
Waldo,  "was  not  without  its  comical  features. 
His  subject  was  'History.'  I  believe  it  was  the 
same  as  his  essay  with  that  title.  One  scintilla- 
tion was  this :  'Time  vanishes  to  shining  ether  the 
solid  angularity  of  facts.  Carthage  was,  but  is 
not.'  This  was  only  saying  there  was  nothing 
permanent.  He  gave  this  thought  in  a  matter-of- 
fact  style.  The  hall  was  packed,  but  half  the  au- 
dience was  sleepy.  The  lecture  was  pronounced 
bv  some  to  be  a  failure." 


PAST     AXl)     I'RKSICXT     OF     \\l\.\l-:i!A(i( )     CorXTY. 


Lectures  were  jjiveii  (luriiijj^  the  season  by 
Bisliop  T'otter.  Chancellor  Lalliro]),  .liidsje  Doo- 
little.  of  Wisconsin,  on  "The  Cliaracler  of  Wash- 
ington;"  Uayanl  Taylor,  two  lectures,  on  "The 
Arabs,"  and  "Japan  and  the  Jai)anesc."  March 
27tb.  1854.  ( )le  r.ull  and  Patti"  were  in  Rockford. 

The  course  for  1854- 1853  included  Rev.  E.  H. 
Chapin.  Josiali  Ouincy.  John  C,.  Saxe.  John  Pier- 
pont.  James  Russell  i.owell.  and  Itayard  Taylor. 
Dr.  Chapin  spoke  on  ".Modern  Chivalry;"  Mr. 
Saxe  gave  a  poem-lecture  on  "Yankee  Land ;" 
John  I'ierpont's  theme  was  "The  Golden  Calf;' 
Lowell  spoke  on  "English  Ballads."  and  Taxlor 
on  "India." 

The  course  of  1853-56  was  opened  by  Henry 
Ward  lieecher.  who  spoke  on  "I'atriotism."  He 
was  followed  by  Wendell  Phillips.  T.  Sarr  King 
and  Dr.  Chapin  were  engaged  for  Ibis  course. 

During  the  next  few  years  Rockford  was  fa- 
vored with  P.  .\.  Shillabcr,  Parke  E.  Godwin, 
John  15.  Gough  and  Prof.  Youmans. 

.\     FR.\G.\IKNT    OK    POl-irilAI.     HISTORY. 

Rockffird  has  claimed  the  honor  of  the  ])irth- 
|)lace  of  the  Republican  |)arty,  so  far  as  a  congres- 
sional nomination  under  the  name  is  concerned. 
"Seven  cities  tought  for  Homer  dead ;''  likewise 
many  places  have  contended  for  the  honor  of  the 
first  party  organization.  Rockford's  claim  to 
the  first  congressional  nomination  is  certainly 
not  unreasonable ;  and  even  if  it  can  not  be  sus- 
tained, it  will  at  least  call  attention  to  a  notable 
])o1itical    event. 

When  the  Kansas-Xebraska  bill  was  passed 
by  congress  in  May,  1854,  there  was  a  general 
feeling  in  the  old  whig  and  democratic  parties 
that  the  enroachments  of  the  slave-power  de- 
manded more  vigorous  resistance.  With  this  end 
in  view,  a  call  was  issued  .\ugust  8th.  to  the  vot- 
ers of  the  first  congressional  district,  for  a 
mass  meeting  to  be  held  in  Rockford  on  the  30th 
instant.  This  call  was  signed  by  forty-six  citizens 
of  Rockford.  only  two  of  whom  are  now  known. 
The  meeting  was  called  to  order  in  the  court- 
house, and  from  there  adjourned  to  the  grove 
west  of  the  Ilaptist  church,  between  Court  and 
Winnebago  streets.  E.  I!.  Washburiie  had  been 
elected  a  member  of  congress  as  a  whig  two  vears 
before,  and  was  of  course  a  candidate  for  re-elec- 
tion. There  were  other  Richmonds  in  the  field: 
Turner  and  .Sweet,  of  I'reej^irt :  Loop,  of  Rock- 
ford, and  Hulbut  of  P.elvitlere.  Xone  of  these 
were  f)penly  avowerl  candidates :  but  each  was 
anxious  for  the  jirize.  A  committee  on  resolu- 
tions of  one  from  each  county  was  nominated. 
There  was  ambition  mixed  with  patriotism.  It 
was  a  time  >>{  breaking  u])  of  old  parties,  and  the 
future  was  uncertain.  Mow  far  would  it  be  safe 
to  declare  against  the  action  of  congress? 


This  was  a  serious  f[uestion.  The  leaders  were 
against  Washburne,  but  the  ijeojile  were  with  him. 
There  is  a  tradition  that  the  committee  on  res- 
olutions was  directed  somewhat  by  the  suggest- 
ions of  Ste])hen  .\.  Hurlbut.  in  preparing  anti- 
slavery  resolutions  so  radical  that  Mr.  W'ash- 
buriie,  it  was  thought,  could  not  accept  a  nomina- 
tion u])on  them.  I'.ut  Mr.  Washburne  was  equal 
to  the  occasion,  lie  ileclared  that  the  resolutions 
met  his  most  hearty  approval ;  whereu])on  James 
Loo])  remarked,  in  language  more  emijhatic  than 
l)ious.  that  Washburne  would  swallow  anything. 
.Mr.  Washburne  was  thereupon  nominated  as  a 
Re])ublicaii  by  this  mass  convention. 

The  regular  whig  convention  for  the  district 
was  held  Se])tember  Cith.  and  Mr.  Washliurne  was 
also  made  the  nominee.  His  nomination  was  op- 
])ose(l  by  .Mr.  ilurlbut.  who  on  the  d.ay  of  the  con- 
vention is  reported  to  have  said :  "When  you  say 
that  E.  D.  Washburne  is  a  good  man,  I  agree  with 
you.  But  when  you  say  that  he  is  a  wise  man  and 
a  statesman,  there  is  a  chance  for  an  argument. 
It  has  been  said  .Mr.  Washburne  is  a  man  of  learn- 
ing, l)ut  I  say  that  as  a  man  of  learning,  E.  B. 
Washburne.  of  Fever  river.  Galena,  possesses 
frightful  limitations."  Mr.  Hurlbut  was  a  con- 
summate master  of  sarcasm,  which  he  often  used 
without  mercy.  But  it  has  been  said  that  while 
Hurlbut  could  make  the  better  speech.  Wash- 
l)urne  won  the  votes  ;  and  on  the  whole,  he  was 
the    more    successful    ])olii!cian. 

In  the  evening  .Mr.  Waslil)urne  entertained  his 
friends  at  a  bancpiet  at  the  City  Hotel.  Some- 
time after  this  whig  convention.  Mr.  Hurlbut 
met  II.  11.  Waldo,  who  had  supported  Mr. 
Washburne,  and  complimented  him  on  his  splen- 
did fi,ght,  and  said  that,  considering  the  material 
at  hand,  he  had  done  well. 

Thus  was  made  one  of  the  first,  if  not  the  very 
first,  republican  nomination  for  member  of  con- 
gress. The  strong  anti-slavery  sentiment  of  both 
]jarties  had  been  intensified  by  the  repeal  of  the 
Missouri  compromise,  under  the  leadership  of 
.Stephen  .\.  Douglas,  and  the  passage  of  the  Il- 
linois lilack  Laws,  through  the  influence  of  John 
.A.  Logan.  Like  Saul  of  Tarsus  before  he  saw  a 
great  light.  Logan  was  dominated  by  prejuflice; 
ami.  like  I'aul  after  his  change,  he  bravely  de- 
fended those  he  formerly  oppressed.  General 
Logan  always  had  the  courage  of  his  convictions ; 
and  his  jwlitical  change  was  sincere. 

ROCKFORO   SKTTI.ICRS    1 85 1 -54. 

Seeley  Perry  was  born  at  .Stockbridgc,  Massa- 
chusetts, .\ugust  22.  i8jj,  and  was  graduated 
from  L'niitn  College  at  Schenectady  in  1845.  Mr. 
Perry  came  to  Rockton  in  1840,  and  in  1851  he 
settled  in  Rockford.  .\fter  teaching  one  year  he 
engagefl  in  the  lumber  trade,  in  which  he  contin- 


PAST     AXD    PRESENT     OF     WIXXEBAGO     COUNTY. 


75 


ued  for  nearly  half  a  century.  Mr.  Perry  was 
elected  mayor  of  Rockford  in  1858,  and  served 
one  term.  He  also  served  the  city  as  alderman, 
member  of  the  hoard  of  education,  and  a  director 
of  the  public  library.     Mr.  Perry  died  in  1900. 

Jesse  Blinn  was  born  in  1809  in  \'ermont,  and 
from  there  he  removed  to  Conneaut,  Ohio.  He 
came  to  Rockton  in  1838 ;  in  1850  he  settled  in 
Rockford.  and  his  family  a  3'ear  later.  He 
opened  the  first  exclusive  hardware  store  in  the 
city.  He  subsequently  became  a  manufacturer 
on  the  water-power,  to  which  reference  has  been 
made.  Mr.  Blinn  died  in  iS/ij.  ]\lrs.  Blinn  died 
in    1905. 

Ralph  Emerson  was  the  son  of  Rev.  Ralph  Em- 
erson, a  Congregational  clergyman,  and  a  profes- 
sor in  Andover  theological  seminary,  the  oldest 
Congregational  divinity  school  in  the  country. 
Another  son  was  Professor  Joseph  Emerson,  of 
Beloit.  ^Ir.  Emerson  was  born  in  Andover, 
Massachusetts,  in  1831.  He  came  to  Rockford 
in  1852.  and  was  later  a  partner  with  Jesse  Blinn 
in  the  hardware  business  until  they  became  inter- 
ested in  the  water-power.  The  Emerson  Com- 
pany has  proved  one  of  the  most  successful  man- 
ufacturers in  the  west.  This  result  may  be  at- 
tributed to  2\lr.  Emerson's  unusual  executive 
ability.  He  has  made  a  generous  use  of  his  large 
wealth  in  contributions  to  various  religious  en- 
terprises. Mr.  Emerson  married  Adaline  Talcott, 
a  daughter  of  Hon.  Wait  Talcott. 

Hon.  Wait  Talcott  was  a  son  of  William  Tal- 
cott, and  was  born  at  Hebron,  Connecticut,  Octo- 
ber 17,  1807.  He  came  to  Rockton  in  the  autumn 
of  1838.  He  was  one  of  the  incorporators  of  Be- 
loit college  and  Rockford  seminary.  In  1854  he 
came  to  Rockford  and  began  his  career  as  a  man- 
ufacturer on  the  water-power  with  his  brother 
Sylvester.  In  1854  he  was  elected  state  senator 
from  the  district,  comprising  Winnebago,  Carroll, 
Boone  and  Ogle  counties.  Upon  the  passage  of 
the  internal  revenue  act.  President  Linconi  ap- 
pointed ]\Ir.  Talcott  commissioner  of  internal 
revenue  for  the  Second  congressional  district. 
This  appointment  was  dated  August  27,  1862, 
and  Mr.  Talcott  served  five  years.  Mr.  Talcott 
preserved  files  of  Chicago  and  Rockford  news- 
papers, and  upon  his  death,  which  occurred  No- 
vember 7,  1890.  his  son.  William  A.  Talcott.  pre- 
sented them  in  excellent  bound  condition  to  the 
Rockford   public   library. 

John  S.  Coleman  was  a  native  of  Delaware 
county.  New  York.  In  185 1  he  removed  with  his 
family  to  Rockford  and  became  a  member  of  the 
banking  firm  of  Robertson,  Coleman  &  Company. 
He  built  the  stone  house  on  North  >\lain  street, 
now  owned  by  \\'iliam  Nelson.  Air.  Coleman 
was  a  trustee  of  Rockford  seminary  and  treasurer 
of  the  board,  and  a  member  of  the  city  council. 
He  died  April  6,  1864,  in  his  fifty-eighth  year. 


James  L.  Loo]i  was  Ijorn  in  Steuben  county, 
New  York,  in  1815.  He  settled  in  Belvidere  in 
1838,  and  some  years  later  he  formed  a  partner- 
shi]5  with  his  brother-in-law,  Stephen  A.  Hurlbut, 
in  the  practice  of  law.  He  was  prosecuting  attor- 
ney for  the  northern  district  of  Illinois  in  1843-5. 
From  1846  to  1850  Mr.  Loop  was  secretary  of  the 
Illinois  and  ^Michigan  canal,  which  office  he  re- 
signed. In  1852  ]\Ir.  Loop  removed  to  Rockford 
and  formed  law  partnership  with  William  Lath- 
rop.  In  1856  tie  was  elected  mayor  of  Rockford, 
and  served  one  term.  Mr.  Loop's  death  occurred 
February  8,  1865,  when  he  was  fifty  years  of  age. 
The  remains  were  taken  to  Belvidere  for  burial. 
By  the  common  consent  of  the  Rockford  bar, 
James  L.  Loop  possessed  the  finest  legal  ability 
of  any  man  who  ever  practiced  in  this  city.  His 
intellect  was  strong  and  his  resources  were  at  his 
instant  command.  His  grasp  of  legal  principles 
was  due  to  his  acute,  intuitive  sense  of  what  was 
right  between  man  and  man,  which  was  a  gift 
from  nature.  Mr.  Loop  was  always  the  genial 
gentleman.  Like  so  many  other  gifted  men.  he 
was  his  own  worst  enemy,  and  his  sad.  imtimely 
death  was  an  impressive  object  lesson  that  strong 
drink  is  no  respecter  of  persons. 

\\'illiam  Lathrop  is  a  native  of  Genesee  county, 
New  York.  He  came  to  Rockford  in  January, 
1 85 1.  He  was  partner  with  James  L.  Loop  from 
1853  to  1857.  In  1856  Mr.  Lathrop  was  elected 
a  member  of  the  legislature,  and  served  one  term. 
In  1876  he  succeeded  Stephen  A.  Hurlbut  as 
member  of  congress  from  the  Fourth  district, 
and  served  one  term.  During  his  long  residence 
in  Rockford  Mr.  Lathrop  has  enjoyed  a  large  and 
lucrative  legal  practice.  The  author  takes  pleas- 
ure in  acknowledging  his  obligations  to  Mr.  Lath- 
rop for  the  free  use  of  his  library  and  for  infor- 
mation personally  given. 

Lion.  John  Early  was  born  in  Middlesex 
county,  Canada  West,  A  larch  17,  1828.  In  1846 
he  removed  with  his  parents  to  Boone  county, 
and  in  1852  he  settled  in  Rockford.  He  served 
three  terms  as  assessor  of  Rockford.  In  1869  he 
was  appointed  one  of  the  first  board  of  trustees 
of  the  reform  school  at  Pontiac.  In  1870  ilr. 
Early  was  elected  state  senator  from  the  Twenty- 
third  district,  composed  of  Winnebago,  Boone, 
AlcHenry  and  Lake  counties.  His  senatorial 
colleague  was  General  Allen  C.  Fuller,  of  Bel- 
videre. After  the  state  haa  been  re-districted  he 
was  elected  senator  in  1872,  from  the  Ninth  dis- 
trict, which  included  Winnebago  and  Boone  coun- 
ties, and  again  in  1874,  for  the  full  term  of  four 
years.  By  the  election  of  Governor  Oglesby  to 
the  United  States  senate,  and  Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor Beveridge  becoming  governor,  Mr.  Early 
became  acting  lieutenant-governor  of  the  state. 
Mr.-  Early  died  September  2.  1877. 

Lieutenant-Colonel    Edward   F.    W.    Ellis   was 


I'\ST     Wn     I'KFSRXT     OF     \\  I XXFlJALiU     CUL'XTV. 


born  in  Milton,  Maine.  Ajjfil  15,  i8iy.  lie  came 
to  Rockfonl  in  1S54  and  became  a  member  of 
tlie  bankin.ij  firm  of  Spaffonl.  Clark  &•  Ellis. 
L'i)on  the  outbreak  of  the  civil  war  Colonel  Ellis 
raised  a  company  for  the  Fifteenth  regiment, 
called  the  Ellis  Rifles.  He  was  chosen  lieutenant- 
colonel,  but  was  acting  colonel  at  the  time  of  his 
death.  At  the  battle  of  Shiloh  he  was  in  command 
of  the  I'ilteentn.  which  belonged  to  General  Hurl- 
hut's  division.  On  Monday  morning  his  regiment 
was  exposed  to  a  terrible  fire  and  Colonel  Ellis 
was  struck  in  the  breast  by  a  ball,  and  instantly 
expired.  Col.  l^llis'  home  was  the  historic  home- 
stead lately  owned  by  Dr.  W.  H.  Fitch,  on  ^Vest 
State  street.  In  1S56  the  property  was  trans- 
ferred to  Colonel  Ellis,  and  there  he  lived  with  his 
wife  and  children. 

Henry  P.  Kimball  was  a  native  of  Xew  Hamp- 
shire, and  was  graduated  from  Rochester  univer- 
sity. Mr.  Kimball  came  to  Rockford  in  1852. 
and  taught  school  for  some  time.  He  had  a  local 
re]>utatitin  as  a  horticulturist.  As  secretary  of  the 
-Agricultural  Society,  Mr.  Kimball  achieved  a 
uni(|ue  distinction  as  a  successful  fair  advertiser. 
l'l)on  his  invitation  many  of  the  most  distin- 
guished men  of  the  la.st  generation  visited  Rock- 
ford  and  made  addresses.  Mr.  Kimball  died  Mav 
10,    1889. 

John  Xelson  was  a  native  of  West  Gothland, 
Sweden,  born  April  5,  1830.  He  came  to  Rock- 
ford  in  1852.  ilis  life  was  uneventful  until  a 
short  time  before  liis  death,  when  he  i)erfected 
the  Xelson  knitting  machine,  which  revolution- 
ized the  knitting  of  liosiery.  After  (icneral  Grant 
had  returned  from  liis  tour  around  the  world,  he 
visited  Mr.  Xelson's  factory,  and  declared  that 
he  had  never  seen  such  perfect  machinerv  for  this 
purpose.  Mr.  Xelson  died  April  15.  1883.  The 
Hotel  Xelson  is  named  in  his  honor. 

.\.  E.  Goodwin,  M.  D.,  was  Ixirn  August  11. 
1827.  at  Chelsea.  \'ermont.  He  was  graduated 
from  P.erk.shire  medical  college  at  Pittsficld. 
Massachusetts.  Dr.  Goodwin  came  to  Rockford 
in  1854.  During  the  civil  war  lie  was  a  surgeon 
in  the  Eleveiitli  Illinois  Infantry  and  in  the  One 
Hundred  and  F:ighth.  He  was  wounded  at  Mcks- 
burg.  Dr.  Goodwin  was  a  member  of  tlie  citv 
1)oard  of  education,  and  of  the  public  library 
board.     He  died   May   14,   1889. 

Chester  C.  Rriggs  was  a  native  of  \''ermont. 
He  was  liorn  in  Dover,  Se])tember  6,  181 7.  He 
was  graduated  from  Dartmoutli  college,  and  in 
1833  he  came  to  Rockford  and  became  the  sen- 
ior nieml)er  of  the  banking  firm  of  Hriggs,  Spaf- 
ford  &  Penfield.  He  was  subsequently  financial 
manager  of  the  Kenosha  Railroad  Coiiipain.  In 
}H()H  he  became  associated  with  the  firm  of 
'•riggs.  Mead  &  Skinner,  in  the  manufacture  of 
agricultural    implements.      The    firm    n.imc    w.-i^; 


later  changed  to  P.riggs  &   Enoch.      .Mr.    Priggs 
died  January   24,    i8<j2. 

James  (;.  .Manlove  was  a  native  of  Dover,  Del- 
aware, where  he  was  born  December  15,  181 2. 
He  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  Wisconsin,  and  set- 
tled in  Rockford  in  185 1,  and  began  the  practice 
of  law.  He  held  the  offices  of  police  magis- 
trate, justice  of  the  peace,  town  clerk  and  alder- 
man, and  the  confidence  which  the  peojjle  rc])osed 
in  him  is  attested  by  his  re])eated  elections  as 
town  clerk  and  justice  of  the  peace.  ]\fr.  Man- 
love   died    Xovember  6,    i8(p. 

Robert  P.  Lane,  M.  D..  was  torn  in  Ho|)cwell, 
I'edford  county,  Penns\lvania,  in  1818.  He  came 
to  Rockford  in  1 851.  He  was  a  leader  in  the  or- 
ganization of  the  water-power  company,  and  gave 
his  ])ersonal  attention  to  the  construction  of  the 
dam.  He  was  a  member  of  the  banking  firm  of 
Lane,  Sanford  &  Com])anv  :  one  of  the  organizers 
of  the  Second  Xational  liank,  and  continuously 
served  as  its  president  from  1864  to  1881,  when 
he  resigned  to  accept  the  ])residency  of  the  Rock- 
ford Insurance  Company.  He  served  as  a  mem- 
ber of  the  library  board,  and  was  senior  warden 
of  the  Episcopal  church  for  forty  \ears.  Dr. 
Lane  died  March  7,  1891. 

.\ntliony  Haines  was  a  native  of  Marietta, 
Pennsylvania,  born  April  21,  1829.  He  came  to 
Rockford  in  1854.  and  formed  a  partncr.ship  with 
I'^lisha  .A.  Kirk  for  buying  and  shipping  grain 
over  the  Kencxsha  railroad.  In  1880  he.  witli  other 
gentlemen,  organized  the  Rockford  Street  Rail- 
way Company,  of  which  he  was  elected  president 
and  general  nianager.  Mr.  Haines,  at  the  time 
of  his  death  in  1898,  was  vice-president  of  the 
Manufacturers'  National  Bank. 

Charles  O.  L^pton  was  born  in  North  Reading, 
Massachusetts,  in  T832,  and  came  to  Rockford 
in  1854.  ;\rr.  l'()ton  has  been  prominent  in  the 
banking  business  of  the  city.  He  was  a  director 
of  the  Second  Xational  Pank  twenty  years,  and 
the  last  two  years  was  its  vice-president.  In  1889 
he  led  in  the  organization  of  the  Manufacturers' 
Xational  Bank  and  was  its  president  ten  years. 
Mr.  L'pton  has  served  the  jwblic  in  the  city  coun- 
cil, on  the  county  board,  and  as  treasurer  of  Rock- 
ford one  term. 

Carlton  W.  Slielildu  is  a  native  of  Xew  York, 
born  in  \'ictor.  March  14.  1828.  He  came  to 
Rockford  in  1852,  entered  the  law  office  of  Ja- 
son Marsh,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  the  au- 
tumn of  the  same  year.  In  1869  lie  entered  the 
em|)loy  of  the  Rockford  Insurance  Company  as 
adjuster  and  remained  five  years,  and  in  1874  he 
was  elected  secretary  of  the  Forest  Cit\  Insurance 
Company,  and  lield  this  iiosition  five  years,  when 
he  resunie<l  the  practice  of  law. 

Isaac  Utter  was  a  native  of  Xew  York.  He 
came  to  Rockford  in  1852.  and  formed  a  partner- 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


77 


ship  with  Orlando  Clark,  on  the  water-power. 
For  twenty-one  years  he  was  associated  with  Levi 
Rhoades.  in  the  manufacture  of  paper.  He  was  a 
man  of  energy,  and  good  judgement  in  business 
affairs.     Mr.  Utter  died  May  7,  1888. 

Alexander  D.  Forbes  was  born  in  Perthshire, 
Scotland,  December  13.  1S31.  He  came  to  Rock- 
ford  in  1854,  and  in  partnership  with  his  father, 
Duncan  Forbes,  began  business  on  the  water- 
power.  In  1864  they  established  the  first  malle- 
able iron  works  west  of  Cincinnati.  The  father 
died  in  1871.     Mr.  Forbes  died  ]\Iarch  30,  1902. 

Major  Elias  Cosper  was  born  in  Wooster,  Ohio, 
in  1824.  He  came  to  Rockford  in  1854,  and  en- 
tered the  banking  house  of  Robertson, 
Coleman  &  Company,  as  teller,  and  in 
1857  he  became  its  cashier.  Upon  the 
outbreak  of  the  Civil  war  Mr.  Cosper  sold  his 
interest  in  the  bank  and  entered  the  service  with 
Company  E,  Seventy-fourth  Regiment.  After 
the  battle  of  Chickamauga  he  was  promoted  to 
the  rank  of  major  and  paymaster  of  the  army. 
Upon  his  return  to  civil  life.  Air.  Cosper,  in  com- 
pany with  T.  D.  Robertson,  Alelancthon  Starr, 
and  John  P.  Jilanny.  organized  the  John  P. 
Manny  Reaper  Company  and  was  its  manager. 
From  1874  Mr.  Cosper  was  connected  with  the 
Rockford  Tack  Company,  and  was  its  secretary 
and  treasurer.    He  died  in  1900. 

John  G.  Penfield  is  a  native  of  \'ermont  and 
settled  in  Rockford  in  1854.  Since  that  time  he 
has  been  continuously  in  business  as  a  broker  and 
dealer  in  real  estate  and  insurance.  ]\Irs.  Pen- 
field  gave  the  lot  to  the  First  Congregational 
church  on  which  the  parsonage  now  stands. 

William  A.  Knowlton  was  a  native  of  Chautau- 
qua county.  New  York,  and  removed  to  the  west 
when  a  young  man.  He  came  to  Rockford  in  1853 
from  Freeport,  Illinois.  After  the  death  of  J.  H. 
Alanny.  Mr.  Knowlton  became  business  agent  for 
I\Irs.  Alanny.  He  retained  this  position  for  sev- 
eral years,  and  was  eminently  successful.  Mr. 
Knowlton  was  subsequently  engaged  in  various 
manufacturing  enterprises.  He  sustained  finan- 
cial reverses,  and  in  the  autumn  of  1891  he  re- 
moved to  Chicago,  where  he  died  September  17th 
of  the  following  year. 

John  P.  ]\Ianny  was  born  in  Amsterdam,  New 
York,  March  8,  1823.  He  settled  at  \\'addam's 
Grove,  Stephenson  county,  in  1842.  He  came  to 
Rockford  in  1852,  and  for  several  years  he  man- 
ufactured knife  sections  for  J.  H.  Manny's  ma- 
chines. Early  in  the  sixties  he  perfected  several 
inventions,  which  were  handled  by  N.  C.  Thomp- 
son. After  the  war  Mr.  Manny  became  interested 
with  the  John  P.  Manny  Compan}-.  in  wliich  he 
was  associated  with  Elias  Cosper,  T.  D.  Robert- 
son and  Melancthon  Starr.  This  company  and 
j\lr.  Thompson  paid  him  royalities  upon  his  in- 
ventions, and  the  JNIississippi  river  was  the  divid- 


ing line  between  their  respective  territories. 
Mr.  Alanny's  income  from  this  source  was  at 
one  time  forty  thousand  dollars  a  year.  He  pur- 
chased the  John  S.  Coleman  estate  on  North  Main 
street,  which  was  his  home  for  many  years.  This 
property  is  now  owned  by  William  Nelson.  JNIr. 
Manny  died  November  16,  1897. 

Among  other  well-known  citizens  who  came  to 
Rockford  during  this  period  were :  Horace 
Brown,  T.  J.  L.  Remington,  1850;  J.  AI.  South- 
gate,  Andrew  G.  Lowry,  Horace  Buker,  1852 ; 
Jacob  Hazlett,  D.  A.  Barnard,  Samuel  Ferguson, 
1853:  Henry  Fisher,  Melancthon  Smith,  T.  W. 
Carrico,  ^^'illiam  and  George  R.  Forbes,  1854. 

THE    FIRST    PUBLIC    LIBRARY. 

The  agitation  for  a  public  library  began  in  1852. 
Several  years  elapsed,  however,  before  a  library 
was  established,  and  informatiot:  concerning 
these  early  efforts  are  very  meagre. 

The  Sinissippi  Division  No.  134  of  the  Sons 
of  Temperance  of  Rockford  surrendered  its  char- 
ter to  the  grand  division  April  15.  1852.  Its  for- 
mer members  resolved  to  reorganize  under  the 
name  of  the  Rockford  Library  Association.  All 
members  of  the  division  who  had  paid  their  quar- 
terly dues  to  the  close  of  the  preceding  quarter, 
were  to  be  equal  sharers  in  the  library.  A  request 
was  made  in  the  Forum  of  April  21st,  for  the  re- 
turn of  all  books  belonging  to  the  library.  Thus, 
so  far  as  known,  the  first  circulating  library  was 
the  small  number  of  books  owned  by  the  Sons  of 
Temperance.  The  Forum  of  October  27th  pub- 
lished a  call  for  a  meeting  of  the  trustees  of  the 
Library  Association  for  October  30th,  and  for 
the  annual  meeting  of  the  stockholders  on  the 
first  Saturday  of  November.  No  other  refer- 
ence to  the  library  is  found  immediately  there- 
after. 

At  the  annual  meeting  of  the  Young  Men's  As- 
sociation, September  11,  1855,  it  was  proposed 
to  extend  its  sphere  of  usefulness  by  providing 
a  library  and  reading-room.  A  committee  of  three 
was  appointed  to  confer  with  the  old  Library  As- 
sociation with  a  view  of  obtaining  its  books.  As 
far  as  can  be  learned,  this  effort  to  establish  a  li- 
brary and  reading-room  was  not  successful. 

It  was  not  until  March,  1857,  that  the  first  suc- 
cessful effort  to  establish  a  library  was  made.  In 
that  month  a  subscription  paper  was  circulated, 
with  the  following  statement  of  its  object: 

"We,  the  undersigned,  agree  to  take  the  num- 
ber of  shares  set  opposite  our  names,  in  an  associ- 
ation to  be  incorporated  under  the  general  law 
of  this  state,  for  the  purpose  of  the  establish- 
ment of  a  public  library  in  the  city  of  Rockford. 
Said  library  to  be  under  the  management  and 
control  of  a  board  of  trustees,  to  be  elected  by  the 
stockholders. 


7S 


PAST     AND    TRESEXT    OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUXTY. 


Shares  to  lie  fifty  dollars  each.  Ten  dollars 
per  share  payable  iii)oii  the  foundation  of  the  as- 
sociation, and  ten  dollars  per  share  per  anninii 
thereafter,  in  such  amounts  and  at  such  times 
as  shall  lio  tletermined  by  the  said  board  of  trus- 
tees. Shares  subject  to  forfeiture  by  the  trustees, 
for  non-payment  of  installments." 

The  first  four  names  u])on  the  list  jjledsjcd 
twelve  hundred  dollars,  and  by  the  autunui  i>f 
1858  six  thousand  dollars  had  been  pledged.  Wil- 
liam L.  Rowland  collected  a  considerable  portion 
of  this  amount,  and  a  schedule  of  cash  payments 
was  preserved  by  him.  which  is  still  in  existence. 
The  library  was  duly  organized  October  14,  1858. 
Rooms  were  secured  on  the  third  floor  of  Robert- 
son. Coleman  &  Company's  bank.  James  M. 
Wight,  .^celey  Perry.  Selden  M.  Church.  Pllias 
Cospor.  and  Thomas  D.  Robertson  constituted 
the  first  board  of  trustees  ;  Elias  Cospcr  was  chair- 
man :  Spencer  Rising,  treasurer ;  F.  H.  Bradley, 
librarian.  The  original  board  was  composed  of 
gentlemen  of  exceptional  literary  equipment. 
Others  rentlered  efficient  aid  in  the  selection  of 
books.  .Among  them  was  William  L.  Rowland, 
who  was  subsquently  ai)|)ointeil  librarian  of  the 
l)ublic  library.  The  books,  although  few  in  nmn- 
ber.  possessed  very  high  merit. 

The  number  of  volumes  at  this  time  was  about 
one  thousand  :  number  of  magazines  and  news- 
papers, tliirty-eight.  During  the  next  few  years 
the  li])rary  steadily  received  accessions.  Accord- 
ing to  the  annual  rejiort  of  the  stockholders,  made 
October  11,  i860,  there  were  1,134  volumes. 
There  had  lieen  drawn  during  the  year  ending 
October  4th.  1 .669  volumes.  This  was  an  in- 
crease of  396  over  the  preceding  year.  Several 
gentlemen  acted  as  librarian  for  short  tcmis.  and 
received  a  nominal  com])ensation.  .Aiuong  those 
who  rendered  this  service  were  John  F.  Squier 
and   Hosmer   P.   Holland. 

The  library  served  its  jiurposc  several  years 
but  during  the  war  popular  interest  began  to  de- 
cline. The  library  was  finally  closed,  anil  1867  the 
books  were  sold  at  public  auction  in  a  building 
on  Xorth  Alain  .street,  directly  north  of  Air.  A.sh- 
ton's  block.  .Some  of  these  books  are  now  in  the 
puljlic  lil)rary.  and  (|uite  a  number,  in  excellent 
condition,  are  in  the  private  library  of  Rolx^rt  II. 
Tinker. 

WKSLKY.X.N'    SK.M  I  X  Ain'. 

In  the  summer  of  1856  a  movement  was  begun 
for  the  founding  of  a  co-educational  seminary 
in  Rockford.  under  the  control  of  the  Alcthodist 
Episcopal  church.  February  14,  1837,  an  act  of 
the  legislature  was  approved  to  incoqioratc  the 
Rockford  Weslevan  seminarv.  The  incorjjor- 
ators  were  E.  F.  \V.  Ellis.  T.  D.  Robertson.  D. 
W.  Ticknor,  and  \^^  F.  Stewart.  There  were 
to  ]}i-   twelve   trustees,   appointed   by   the   stock- 


holders, eight  of  whom  should  he  members  of 
the  Methodist  Episcopal  church.  .\  board  of 
three  visitors  was  to  be  a])i)ointed  by  the  annual 
Rock  River  conference.  The  company  was  to 
have  a  capital  stock  of  one  hundred  thousand 
dollars,  divided  into  shares  of  one  hundred  dol- 
lars each. 

.\  farm  of  about  two  lumdred  and  sixteen 
acres  was  purchased  of  William  AI.  Rowland. 
It  adjoined  Judge  Church's  farm  on  the  west 
and  extended  north  to  the  State  road.  The  pur- 
chase price  and  accrued  interest  amounted  to 
nearly  twenty  thousand  dollars.  A  large  portion 
of  this  tract  was  platted  into  town  lots,  and  it 
was  proposed  to  build  a  college  su1)urban  town. 
The  sale  of  lots  occurred  .\pril  21).  1857.  The 
subscribers  to  stock  |)urchased  lots.  Rev.  W. 
V.  Stewart  had  been  transferred  from  the  Ohio 
to  the  Rock  River  conference,  and  had  been 
assigned  to  the  Second  or  Court  Street  church. 
Rev,  Stewart  was  made  purchasing  agent  for  the 
seminary  by  the  annual  conference. 

-August  31,  1857,  the  ceremony  of  breaking 
ground  for  the  seiuinary  building  took  place 
imder  the  direction  of  Rev.  T.  AI.  Eddy,  who 
was  in  attendance  upon  Rock  River  conference, 
which  was  then  in  session  in  Rockford.  Several 
hundred  people  were  in  attendance.  An  address 
was  made  by  Rev.  J.  C.  Stoughton.  agent  of 
Clark  seminary :  and  Rev.  W.  F.  Stewart  gave  a 
brief  history  of  the  origin  of  the  seminary 
movement. 

When  the  groimd  was  broken,  fiftv-seven 
thousand  dollars  had  been  subscribed.  The  en- 
terprise, however,  was  unsuccessful.  Quite  a 
number  of  houses  were  built,  but  in  time  several 
of  them  migrated  into  town  on  rollers,  and  the 
land  reverted  to  farming  purposes. 

In  October,  1857,  Rev.  .Stewart  began  the 
l)ublication  of  the  Rockford  Weslyan  Seminary 
Reporter,  in  the  interest  of  the  seminary.  Only 
four  numbers  were  ])ublished.  Both  Rev. 
Stewart  and  Rev.  Stoughton  have  died  within 
the  past  few  years. 

n.WAKI)    TAVI.ok's    TRinUTE. 

Bayard  Taylor,  in  a  letter  to  the  Tribune, 
l)ublishe(l  the  spring  of  1855,  paid  Rockford  this 
generous  tribute:  "I  last  wrote  to  you  from 
Rockford,  the  most  beautiful  town  in  northern 
Illinois.  It  has  the  advantage  of  an  admirable 
water-power,  furnished  by  Rock  river ;  of  a  rich, 
rolling  prairie,  which  is  fast  being  settled  and 
farmed  on  all  sides,  of  a  fine  building  material 
in  its  quarries,  of  soft  yellow  limestone,  re- 
sembling the  Roman  travertine:  and  of  an  mi- 
usually  enterprising  and  intelligent  population. 
Knowing  all  these  advantages,  I  was  not  sur- 
])rised  at  the  evidence  of  growth  since  my  first 


PAST     AXD    PRESENT     OF    WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


79 


visit  a  year  ago.  People  are  flocking  in  faster 
than  room  can  be  furnished,  and  the  foundations 
of  two  new  hotels,  on  a  large  scale,  show  the 
equipments  of  the  place.  I  was  pleased  to  note 
that  taste  keeps  pace  with  prosperity  here,  as 
elsewhere  in  the  northwest.  The  new  Unitarian 
church  is  a  simple  but  very  neat  Gothic  edifice, 
and  the  residences,  of  i\Ir.  Holland  and  Air.  Starr 
are  very  fine  specimens  of  home  architecture. 
The  grounds  of  the  former  are  admirably  laid 
out ;  there  is  nothing  better  of  the  kind  on  the 
Hudson." 

FIRST    FR-\TERX.\L    ORDERS. 

The  charter  of  Winnebago  Lodge,  No.  31,  In- 
dependent Order  of  Odd  Fellows,  was  issued  by 
Geo.  W.  Woodward,  grandmaster  of  Illinois,  in 
1847,  to  the  following  named  charter  members : 
Selden  AI.  Bronson.  Ansel  Kenfield,  Dewitt  Clin- 
ton Briggs,  Frederick  H.  Maxwell,  and  Rev. 
Nathaniel  P.  Heath.  The  lodge  was  instituted 
August  II,  1847.  Tlie  place  of  meeting  was 
Horsman's  block,  on  the  West  side. 

Rockford  Lodge,  No.  102,  Alasons,  was  or- 
ganized February  13,  1851,  under  a  dispensation 
from  C.  G.  Y.  Taylor,  the  grand  master.  The 
following  named  citizens  constituted  its  first 
membership :  Alfred  E.  Ames,  William  Lyman, 
Henry  Carpenter,  C.  H.  Spafford,  William  Hulin, 
E.  H.  Baker,  Ansel  Kenfield,  John  Fraley,  James 
P.  Burns,  W.  F.  Ward,  Jesse  Bliiui.  and  Buel 
G.  Wheeler.  E.  H.  Baker  was  the  last  survivor 
of  this  original  membership. 

Social  Lodge.  No.  140,  Odd  Fellows,  was  in- 
stituted February  6,  1854. 

Winnebago  Chapter,  No.  24,  Masons,  was  or- 
ganized December  12,  1854,  under  a  dispensation 
from  Louis  Watson,  grand  high  priest.  The  fol- 
lowing constituted  its  first  membership :  A.  Clark, 
Chauncv  Rav.  \\'.  F.  Parish.  H.  Aliltimore.  John 
A.  Holland,'  L.  P.  Pettibone,  R.  H.  Cotton, 
Abriam  Alorgan,  G.  D.  Palmer,  and  Ansel  Ken- 
field. This  chapter  was  constituted  under 
another  charter  in  December,  1855. 

Star  in  the  East  Lodge,  No.  166,  Masons,  was 
organized  Feljruary  12,  1855,  under  a  dispen- 
sation from  James  L.  Anderson,  grand  master. 
The  charter  members  were :  E.  F.  W.  Ellis.  R. 
H.  Cotton,  W.  AI.  Bowdoin,  William  Hulin,  S. 
G.  Chellis,  Jos.  K.  Smith,  Joseph  Burns,  C.  I. 
Horsman,  B.  G.  Wheeler,  G.  W.  Re\molds,  John 
A.  Holland,  C.  H.  Richings,  D.  G.  Clark.  Adam 
AlcClure,  Holder  Brownell. 

The  dispensation  for  Rockford  Encampment, 
No.  44,  Odd  Fellows,  was  granted  August  5, 
1857,  to  the  following  patriarchs  as  charter  mem- 
bers :  James  Fleming,  J.  H.  Clark,  Hugh  Strick- 
land, Enos  C.  Clark.  G.  A.  Stiles,  Joseph 
Schloss,  and  Robert  Smith.  The  encampment 
was  instituted  by  Deputy  Grand  Patriarch  A.  E. 
Jenner,  August  26,   1857. 


The  Rockford  Burns  Club  was  organized  No- 
vember 5,  1858.  It  is  an  association  of  Scottish- 
Americans,  who  meet  annually  on  the  birthday  of 
Robert  Burns. 

DE.\TH    OF  JOHN    .\.    IIOLLAXD. 

The  death  of  John  A.  Holland  occurred  Sep- 
tember 29,  1855,  at  Alount  Vernon,  Ohio,  while 
he  was  on  a  visit  to  his  father-in-law,  who  re- 
sided there,  in  company  with  his  family.  The 
remains  were  brought  to  Rockford  for  burial. 
Resolutions  of  respect  were  adopted  by  the 
Alasonic  bodies  and  by  the  bar  of  the  city.  The 
funeral  was  held  at  the  Unitarian  church  on 
Sunday.  John  A.  Holland  was  born  in  what 
is  now  West  Virginia.  He  came  to  Rockford  in 
1845,  from  Wooster,  Ohio,  where  he  had  prac- 
ticed law.  He  formed  a  partnership  with  T.  D. 
Robertson  in  the  practice  of  his  profession.  He 
was  the  attorney  for  the  Galena  &  Chicago  L'nion 
Railroad,  and  assisted  the  Illinois  Central  in  se- 
curing the  right  of  way  from  Chicago  to  Cairo. 
yiv.  FfoUand  was  an  attendant  at  the  Unitarian 
church,  but  was  not  a  member.  He  was  a  man 
of  comprehensive  mind,  great  energy  and  sa- 
gacity, and  always  operated  upon  a  large  scale. 
He  was  a  leading  spirit  in  every  public  enter- 
prise. The  Holland  House  was  named  in  his 
nonor.  Mr.  Holland  was  father  of  Hosmer  P. 
Holland.  His  second  wife  was  a  daughter  of 
Dr.  J.  C.  Goodhue. 

irURDER   OF   SHERIFF    T.WLOR. 

Tuesday,  November  11.  1856,  John  F.  Tavlor, 
sheriff  of  Winnebago  coimty,  was  instantly 
killed  by  Alfred  Countrxman.  On  that  day 
Alfred  and  John  Countryman  came  to  Rockford 
from  Ogle  county  with  some  cattle,  which  they 
offered  for  sale  at  such  low  prices  as  to  arouse 
suspicion.  The  cattle  were  sold  for  a  sum  below 
their  market  value.  The  purchasers  delayed  pay- 
ment until  notice  had  been  given  the  sherifT,  and 
papers  made  out  for  the  apprehension  of  the 
brothers  which  occurred  about  nine  o'clock  in  the 
morning.  They  were  then  arrested  on  suspicion ; 
and  before  they  were  taken  to  jail  Sheriff  Taylor 
searched  them  for  concealed  weapons.  He  found 
pistol  balls  in  Alfred's  pockets,  and  upon  inquir- 
ing for  his  revolver  the  prisoner  replied  that  he 
had  none.  Sheriff  Taylor,  assisted  by  Constable 
Thompson,  then  started  with  the  prisoners  for 
the  jail.  Just  as  they  reached  the  steps  Alfred 
Countryman  broke  away  from  the  sheriff,  leaped 
over  the  fence  on  Elm  street,  and  ran  down  that 
street,  with  the  sheriff"  in  pursuit.  At  the  next 
corner,  near  the  livery  stable  of  Hall  &  Reynolds, 
the  sheriff'  had  nearly  overtaken  Countryman, 
and  was  about  to  seize  him,  when  the  latter  drew 
a  pistol  which  he  had  concealed,  and  fired.    The 


8o 


PAST     AXD    PRESENT    OF    WIXXEBAGO    COL'XTV. 


shcritt  staggered  a  few  i)aces  and  fell.  His  only 
wonls  were:  "rni  shot:  catch  him." 

Coinitrvnian  ran  to  the  woods  north  of  Kent's 
creek,  with  Innidreds  of  infuriated  citizens  in  pur- 
suit. John  I'latt  was  the  first  to  overtake  him. 
He  took  his  pistol  from  him.  and,  with  assistance, 
secured  his  arrest.  .Amid  threats  of  lynching, 
the  prisoner  was  placed  in  jail  and  securely 
ironed.  Samuel  1.  Cluirch.  the  sheriff-elect, 
hriefly  addressed  the  crowd  and  assmed  them 
that  the  prisoner  was  secure. 

Sheriff  Taylor  was  thirty-one  years  of  age, 
anil  left  a  wife,  and  a  son  a  year  and  a  half  old. 
He  was  an  excellent  officer,  and  was  held  in  high 
respect  by  the  community.  The  funeral  was  held 
TInirsdav'  on  the  public  square  adjoining  the 
jail,  imder  tlie  charge  of  the  .Masonic  fraternity. 
The  board  of  supervisors  were  in  attendance  in 
a  body.  The  discourse  was  preachcil  by  Rev. 
W.  F.'  Stewart. 

EXECUTION   01-  COfNTKV.M.XN. 

t.  (Hint ry man  was  indicted  and  tried  for  the 
murder  of  Sheriff  Taylor  at  the  February  term 
of  the  circuit  court  in  1857.  The  prosecution  was 
conducted  by  U.  D.  Meacham,  the  state's  attorney, 
assisted  by  William  Hrown.  The  counsel  for 
the  defense  was  Orrin  Miller  and  T.  J.  Turner. 
The  following  gentlemen  constituted  the  jury: 
Levi  Tunks,  Philo  C.  ^^'atson.  Anthonv  M. 
Felmly,  Silas  G.  Tyler,  Jacob  B.  Place,  G.  R. 
Ames,  Allen  Rice,  Charles  \\'orks,  J.  W.  Jenks, 
Edward  Peppers,  J.  W.  Knapp,  S.  P.  CoUer.  The 
trial  began  on  Monday,  February  23d.  The  case 
was  given  to  the  jury  on  Thursday,  and  Friday 
morning  they  returned  a  verdict  of  guilty.  Judge 
Sheldon  pronounced  the  sentence  of  death  upon 
CountrxTnan.  One  of  his  counsel,  Mr.  Miller, 
tried  to  obtain  a  stay  of  proceedings,  so  as  to 
bring  the  case  Ijeforc  the  supreme  court.  But 
Judge  Caton  refused  to  grant  a  writ  of  error. 

On  Friday.  March  27th.  Countryman  was 
executed  on  the  farm  of  Sheriff  Church,  a  short 
distance  from  the  city.  The  execution  was 
witnessed  by  eight  thousand  people.  In  the  ab- 
sence of  a  military  company,  the  two  fire  com- 
panies, armed  with  sabres  and  carbines,  formed 
a  hollow  square  at  the  jail,  into  the  center  of 
which  the  carriages  which  were  to  form  the  pro- 
cession, were  driven,  and  as  the  procession  moved 
to  tlie  place  of  execution  the  fire  companies 
formed  a  strong  guard.  Upon  arriving  at  the 
scaffold.  Rev.  Hooper  Crews  offered  an  earnest 
prayer.  The  prisoner  made  a  short  speech  and 
professed  repentence  and  forgiveness  for  his 
crime.  At  seventeen  minutes  past  two  the  bolt 
was  withdrawn,  and  Countryman  was  swung 
into  eternity.  His  father,  sister  and  one  brother 
witnessed  the  execution.     Before  the  body  was 


taken  down,  Sheriff  Church  addressed  the  crowd 
as  follows:  "These  ])ainful  i)roceedings  being 
now  concluded,  and  the  sword  of  justice  about  to 
be  returned  to  its  sheath,  I  hope  never  again  to 
be  drawn  into  so  much  severity.  I  would  thank 
you  all  for  the  good  order  you  have  maintained. 
Your  conduct  does  credit  to  the  city,  and  I  hope 
you  will  observe  the  same  decorum  in  retiring." 

KE.XOSIIA  .\M)  UOCKFORD  R.MLRO.VD. 

In  1856  was  projected  a  railroad  to  connect 
Kenosha  on  Lake  Michigan  with  Rockford.  It 
was  a  ])art  of  the  original  plan  that  this  line 
should  extend  from  Rockford  to  Rock  Island. 
January  20,  1857,  a  charter  was  granted  John  M. 
Cai)ron.  Egbert  Ayer,  Thomas  Paul,  John  Cor- 
nell. W.  1!.  ( )gden,  John  Bradley,  Jason  Marsh, 
George  Haskell,  David  S.  Penfielil.  Robert  P. 
Lane,  C.  C.  Briggs,  C.  H.  Spafford,  A.  S.  Mil- 
ler, Jesse  Blinn,  and  Seely  Perry.  The  com- 
])any  was  to  have  a  capital  stock  of  eight  hun- 
jlred  thousand  dollars,  to  be  divided  into  shares 
of  one  hundred  dollars  each,  and  was  authorized 
to  construct  a  road  from  a  point  near  the  state 
line  in  McHcnry  county  to  Rockford.  This  road 
was  built  as  a  means  of  relieving  Rockford  from 
burdens  imposed  by  the  high  freight  and  pas- 
senger rates  of  the  Galena  &  Chicago  L'nion. 

Books  for  subscriptions  to  the  stock  of  the 
road  were  opened  early  in  November,  1856,  and 
on  the  25th  of  the  same  month  the  company  was 
organized  by  the  election  of  the  following  of- 
ficers: President,  C.  H.  Spafford:  vice-presi- 
dent, R.  P.  Lane :  secretary,  E.  H.  Baker ; 
treasurer.  A.  C.  Spaft'ord  :  executive  committee, 
J.  P.ond,  J.  M.  Capron,  R.  P.  Lane,  D.  S.  Pen- 
field  and  Seely  Perry.  The  subscriptions  were 
made  largely  by  farmers  along  the  line,  who 
gave  mortgages  on  their  real  estate  to  secure  their 
|)ayments.  'The  company  negotiated  these  mort- 
gages in  ])aymcnt  for  iron,  labor  and  other  ex- 
jienses  in  the  building  of  the  road.  \\'hen  these 
obligations  matured  man\-  of  the  subscribers 
could  not  redeem  them,  and  the  holders  of  the 
mortgages  foreclosed  them. 

The  contract  for  the  construction  of  the  road 
to  Harvard  was  made  in  March,  1857,  and  the 
work  was  begun  shortly  afterwards.  The  east- 
ern division  of  the  road  was  under  the  control  of 
another  comjiany,  organized  under  a  charter  from 
the  Wisconsin  legislature.  The  progress  of  con- 
struction was  impeded  by  financial  embarrass- 
ments, arising  from  the  great  depression  which 
spread  over  the  country  in  1857,  and  the  enter- 
prise languished.  In  .\ugnst,  1858,  the  company 
a]iplied  to  the  council  of  Rockford  for  a  loan  of 
the  city  credit  to  the  amoinit  of  $50,000  to  aid 
in  the  completion  of  the  road.  An  election  was 
held  September  2,  and  the  measure  was  carried  by 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


8i 


a  majority  of  more  than  five  hundred.  This  is 
the  only  instance  in  the  history  of  Rockford  of 
the  loan  of  the  credit  of  the  corporation  to  a 
railroad. 

November  21,  1859,  the  road  was  completed 
between  Rockford  and  Harvard,  and  the  event 
w^as  celebrated  by  a  banquet  at  the  Holland 
House  the  same  evening.  In  1864  the  Galena  & 
Chicago  Union  Railroad  Company  was  absorbed 
by  the  Chicago  &  Northwestern,  and  the 
Kenosha  &  Rockford  road,  as  a  matter  of  course, 
soon  came  under  the  same  control. 

AN    EARLY   ROCKFORD   MANSION. 

The  most  beautiful  home  in  early  Rockford 
was  that  of  Mrs.  J.  H.  Manny,  on  South  Main 
street.  The  "Manny  mansion"  was  built  in  1854, 
by  John  A.  Holland.  The  grounds  had  a  front- 
age of  three  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet,  and 
e.xtended  from  the  northern  limit  of  G.  N.  Saf- 
ford  &  Company's  lumber  yard  to  a  point  below 
Kent's  creek,  and  were  fronted  by  a  stone  fence. 
The  beauty  of  these  grounds  was  due,  in  large 
measure,  to  John  Blair,  a  Scottish  landscape 
gardener  who  came  from  Canada  at  Mr.  Hol- 
land's solicitation.  He  laid  out  the  grounds,  and 
set  the  standard  for  landscape  gardening  in 
Rockford,  and  in  this  way  he  left  his  impress  on 
the  city.  Mr.  Blair  subsequently  laid  out  the 
grounds  of  the  Elgin  insane  asylum.  After  the 
death  of  Mr.  Holland,  in  1855,  financial  reverses 
overtook  his  family,  and  about  i860  this  splendid 
estate  passed  into  the  ownership  of  Mrs.  J.  H. 
Manny. 

WINNEB.\GO  SUPPORTS  FREMONT. 

At  the  presidential  election  in  November,  1856, 
Winnebago  county  gave  John  C.  Fremont  a  mag- 
nificent vote.  Every  town  in  the  county  was 
carried  for  the  Pathfinder.  The  total  vote  of 
the  county  was  4,154.  The  county  gave  a  ma- 
jority of  3,179  for  Fremont  over  Buchanan.  The 
First  Congressional  district  gave  majorities  for 
Fremont  and  Washburne  of  more  than  twelve 
thousand.  William  Lathrop  was  elected  repre- 
sentative :  Samuel  I.  Church,  sheriff ;  H.  T.  Mes- 
ler,  coroner;  Morris  B.  Derwent,  circuit  clerk. 
Mr.  Church  was  a  brother  of  Jvidge  Church,  and 
came  to  Rockford  in  1848.  He  purchased  a 
quarter  of  the  school  section ;  later  he  made  it  his 
home,  where  he  died  in  1886. 

ROCKFORD   CITY   GREYS. 

In  1856  a  military  company  was  organized, 
under  the  name  of  the  Rockford  City  Greys, 
which  enkindled  the  enthusiasm  of  a  large  num- 
ber of  the  young  men  of  the  city.  In  the  sum- 
mer of  1858  Colonel  E.  E.  Ellsworth  was  en- 
6 


gaged  as  drillmaster,  and  under  his  instruction 
the  company  attained  a  high  degree  of  proficiency. 
In  September,  1858,  an  encampment  was  held  on 
the  fairgrounds,  which  continued  four  days. 
Companies  from  Freeport,  Elgin  and  Chicago 
were  in  attendance.  This  company  continued  in 
e.xcellent  condition  until  the  outbreak  of  the  Civil 
war.  when  under  the  name  of  Rockford  Zouaves, 
man\-  of  the  company  volunteered  in  the  three 
months'  service,  under  the  call  of  the  president 
for  seventy-five  thousand  men  ;  and  as  a  part  of 
the  Eleventh  Illinois  Volunteers,  were  detailed  to 
garrison  duty  at  Cairo  and  at  Bird's  Point. 

IN    HONOR   OF   .\TLANTIC   CABLE. 

August  17,  1858,  the  completion  of  the  Atlantic 
cable  was  celebrated  by  the  citizens  of  Rockford 
with  great  demonstrations  of  enthusiasm.  On 
that  day  the  queen  of  England  and  the  president 
of  the  United  States  exchanged  messages.  The 
event  was  celebrated  in  Rockford  by  a  salute  of 
fifty  guns,  fired  by  the  City  Greys,  and  the  church 
bells  were  rung.  Public  exercises  were  held  in 
the  evening  at  the  courthouse.  Addresses  were 
made  by  James  L.  Loop,  Judge  Miller,  E.  W. 
Blaisdell,  Judge  Church,  William  Hulin,  and 
Dr.  L\Tnan.  The  speech  of  Mr.  Loop  was  ex- 
ceptionally brilliant,  and  replete  with  noble 
thought.  One  paragraph  from  this  address  is 
quoted :  "Great  Britain  and  the  United  States — 
the  two  great  maritime  nations  of  the  globe,  have 
met  in  mortal  combat  upon  that  briny  deep  ;  they 
have  fought  for  the  sea's  supremacy,  they  have 
maintained  on  either  side  with  all  their  prowess 
and  power  their  respective  country's  glory,  and 
well  and  gloriously  have  their  names  resounded 
through  the  world — but  no  victory  ever  won  by 
either  upon  the  ocean  can  compare  with  this  joint 
victory  we  have  met  to  celebrate." 

CENSUS    OF    i860. 

In  i860  the  census  of  the  city  of  Rockford, 
taken  by  Thos.  Boyd,  showed  a  population  of 
7,046,  and  8,117  in  the  township.  In  1836  there 
were  350  white  inhabitants  in  the  county,  which 
included  Boone,  and  the  eastern  half  of  Stephen- 
son. In  June,  1837,  after  Winnebago  had  been 
reduced  to  its  present  size,  the  county  had  a 
population  of  1,086.  In  1839  the  village  of  Rock- 
ford had  235  inhabitants,  and  in  December,  1845, 
there  were  1,278.  In  1840  there  were  2,563  in 
Rockford  township,  and  in  1855  there  were 
6,620. 

TRIAL    OF    GOVERNOR    BEEB. 

On  Tuesday  evening.  May  19,  1857,  a  chari- 
vari resulted  in  the  instant  death  of  one  of  the 
party.      Hon.    William    Bebb,    Ex-Governor    of 


8_' 


PAST     AXn     PRESENT     OF     WIXXEBAGO     COL'XTV. 


Ohio,  was  resiclinij  in  Seward  township.  His 
son,  M.  S.  T'fbl).  liad  just  rcturiifd  from  the  east 
with  iiis  bride.  Twelve  yonni;  men  of  the  neisjh- 
borluHid  iiropo.sed  to  eharivari  the  liridal  ])arty. 
They  as.senibled  at  the  jjovernor's  liousc  about 
eleven  o'clock  at  iiisht.  and  began  their  ]}erforni- 
ance  with  cowl)ells,  tin  pans,  three  guns,  and 
other  articles  which  could  contribute  to  the 
hideous  din.  The  governor  at  length  appeared 
wiih  a  shot-gun  and  ordered  them  to  retire.  Thev 
l)aid  no  heed  and  Mr.  Fiebb  fired  one  barrel, 
which  took  effect  in  the  face  of  William  Hogan. 
The  ])arty  then  ai)i)roached  nearer  the  house,  as 
for  an  assault,  wlien  the  governor  discharged 
the  second  liarrel  at  the  leader.  Lemuel  Clemens, 
and  instantly  killed  him.  The  crowd  then  speed- 
ily dis])ersed. 

The  trial  of  (iovernor  I'.ebb.  for  manslaughter, 
began  February  4.  1858.  in  the  circuit  court. 
Judge  Sheldon  jiresiding.  The  pro.secution  was 
conducted  by  V.  D.  Aleacham.  the  state's  at- 
torney, who  was  assisted  by  T.  J.  Turner.  The 
counsel  for  the  defense  was  the  famous  Tom 
Corwin.  of  Ohio,  assisted  by  Judge  William  John- 
son, James  L.  Looj),  and  Judge  ,\nson  S.  Miller. 
The  trial  began  in  the  courthouse,  and  in  order  to 
secure  more  room,  an  adjourniiieiit  was  taken  to 
Metro])olitan  Hall. 

The  greatest  interest  was  manifested  in  the 
trial  by  reason  of  the  reputation  of  the  defend- 
ant and  the  celebrity  of  Mr.  Corwiu.  .\  large 
number  of  ladies  were  daily  in  attendance.  The 
jury  consi.sted  of  the  following  named  gentle- 
men :  John  Spaff<ird,  Putnam  Pcrlev,  ^^'^i^iam 
A.  Pheijis,  Joel  \\'.  Thompson,  Horace  Hitch- 
cock, L.  D.  Waldo,  P.altus  Heagle.  Pienjaniiii  F. 
Long,  John  Morse,  .^.  M.  Preston,  B.  K.  Town. 
Isaac  Manes. 

I'lOth  sides  of  the  case  were  argued  with  great 
ability.  The  central  figure  was,  of  course,  Mr. 
Corwin.  The  Register,  in  reporting  his  address 
to  the  jury,  said:  "It  was  just  such  a  speech  as 
Tom  Corwin  akme  can  make,  and  was  listened 
to  with  breathless  attention.  It  lasted  some  four 
hours,  during  which  time  he  went  over  every 
particular  of  the  case,  applying  the  law  to  each 
point,  and  showing  under  what  circumstances  a 
man  may  kill  another,  and  also  detailing  in  great 
beauty  of  language  the  manner  in  which  the 
people  had  become  possessed  of  the  inalienable 
right  to  enjoy  their  homes  in  peace,  and  un- 
disturbed." 

The  case  was  given  to  the  jury  at  five  o'clock 
Monday  afternoon,  and  at  nine  o'clock  they  re- 
turned with  a  verdict  of  not  guilty.  The  Register 
concluded  ([uite  a  full  report  of  the  trial  with 
a  commendation  of  the  jury  for  their  righteous 
decision. 

M.  S.  liebb,  whose  marriage  was  the  occasion 
of   this   di>turbance,   became   a   well   known   citi- 


zen of  Rockford.  He  had  quite  an  extended 
re]iutation  in  the  scientific  world,  and  was  recog- 
nized as  the  highest  authority  u])on  some  species 
of  the  willow.  .Mr.  I'.ebb  was  for  some  years 
a  member  of  the  public  library  board. 

Till-:  i.i.\(()i..\-:)(iiGi..\s  i>i:ii.\Ti:. 

riu'  famous  Lincoln-Douglas  debate  was  an 
event  of  local  interest  as  well  as  national  sig- 
nificance. In  A])ril,  1S58.  the  Illinois  State 
Democratic  convention  endorsed  Stephen  A. 
Douglas  for  the  L'nited  .States  senate,  .\braham 
Lincoln  was  nominated  by  the  republican  party 
at  S])ringfield,  June  17th.  July  24th  .Mr.  Lincoln 
sent  a  challenge  to  Judge  Douglas  to  discuss  the 
political  issues  of  the  day  in  a  series  of  joint  de- 
bates. The  latter  accepted  a  challenge,  and 
named  one  city  in  each  congressional  district, 
excei)t  the  second  and  sixth,  where  they  had  al- 
ready spoken.  Ottawa.  Freeport.  Galesburg, 
Quincy.  .\lton.  Joiu-sboro  and  Charleston  were 
the  points  chosen  for  these  discussions. 

The  second  and  most  famous  debate  was  held 
at  Freei)ort.  August  27th.  It  was  the  greatest 
political  event  ever  hekl  in  this  congressional  dis- 
trict. Thousands  were  in  attendance  from  the 
northern  counties,  and  the  excitement  was  in- 
tense. .\  special  train  was  made  up  at  Marengo, 
and  run  over  the  (lalena  &  Chicago  L^nion  road. 
It  consisted  of  eighteen  coaches,  eight  of  which 
were  filled  with   Rockford  citizens. 

It  was  at  this  debate  that  Mr.  Lincoln  pro- 
pounded the  four  celebrated  questions  to  Judge 
Douglas,  the  answers  to  which  swept  away  his 
last  chance  for  .securing  the  jiresidency  in  i860. 
Previous  to  this  debate,  a  conference  was  held  at 
the  r.rewster  House,  at  which  E.  P>.  Washburne 
and  Joseph  Medill  urged  Mr.  Lincoln  to  refrain 
trom  such  interrog-ations.  But  Lincoln  was  in- 
sistent. He  said  that  if  Judge  Douglas  answered 
them  one  way  he  would  lose  his  prestige  with 
the  south  :  and  if  he  answered  them  the  other 
way,  he  could  not  retain  the  leadership  of  the 
northern  wing  of  his  party. 

The  result  justified  Mr.  Lincoln's  prophecy. 
"Of  that  answer  at  Freeport,''  as  Mr.  Herndon 
puts  it,  Douglas  "instantly  died.  The  red- 
gleaming  southern  tomahawk  flashed  high  and 
keen.  Douglas  was  removed  out  of  Lincoln's 
wav.  The  wind  was  taken  out  of  Seward's 
sails  ( bv  the  house-divided  speech),  and  Lincoln 
stooil  out  ])rominent." 

The  election  occurred  on  the  2d  of  Novem- 
ber. Mr.  Lincoln  received  a  majority  of  over 
four  thousand  of  the  popular  vote,  yet  the  re- 
turns from  the  legislative  districts  foreshadowed 
his  defeat.  .-Kt  the  senatorial  election  in  the  legis- 
lature. Judge  Douglas  received  fifty-four  votes, 
and  Mr.  Lincoln  forty-six — one  of  the  results  of 
the  unfair  a])()ortioiiment  law  then  in  o|)eration. 


PAST     AND    PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


83 


ROCKFORD  SETTLERS   IX    1855-59. 

Charles  ^^'illiams  was  a  native  of  Massachu- 
setts. He  came  to  Rockford  in  1855,  and  with 
his  son  Lewis,  was  engaged  in  the  hardware 
business.  ]\Ir.  Williams  was  the  war  mayor  of 
Rockford,  serving  from  1859  to  1864.  His  home 
was  the  residence  now  owned  by  John  Barnes. 
^Ir.  \\'illiams  died  in  1876. 

^^'illiam    M.    Rowland    came   to    Rockford    in 

1855.  He  was  a  native  of  Connecticut,  and  when 
a  young  man  he  removed  to  Augusta.  Georgia, 
where  he  was  interested  in  the  Iron  Steamboat 
Company.  Soon  after  the  repeal  of  the  Missouri 
compromise,  Hon.  Alexander  H.  Stephens,  mem- 
ber of  congress,  informally  received  the  promi- 
nent citizens  of  Augusta.  Mr.  Rowland  is  said 
to  have  been  the  only  gentlenian  present  who 
did  not  offer  congratulations  to  Mr.  Stephens 
upon  the  repeal  01  that  law,  but  assured  him  that 
it  would  prove  a  calamity  to  the  south. 

William  L.  Rowland  was  graduated  from  Yale 
college  in  the  class  of  1852,  and  removed  to  Rock- 
ford with  his  father's  family  in  1855.  \Mien  the 
public  library  was  founded  in  1872,  Mr.  Row- 
land was  appointed  librarian,  and  he  retained  this 
position  until  his  death  in   1900. 

Benjamin  Blakeman  was  a  native  of  Strat- 
ford,   Connecticut.      He    came    to    Rockford    in 

1856,  and  carried  on  the  lumber  business,  first 
on  South  Court,  and  later  on  South  Main  street. 
About  1 87 1  he  formed  a  partnership  with  Wil- 
liam Dobson,  in  manufacturing.  Mr.  Blakeman 
is  now  retired  from  business. 

Colonel  Garret  Nevius,  a  native  of  New  York, 
came  to  Rockford  in  1858.  He  was  a  member 
of  the  Rockford  City  Greys,  and  in  1861  he  en- 
listed with  the  Eleventh  Illinois  ^"olunteers,  and 
arose  to  the  rank  of  colonel.  He  was  killed  in 
the  charge  of  Ransom's  brigade  on  the  enemy's 
works  at  Mcksburg,  Mav  22,  1863.  Memorial 
services  were  held  on  the  courthouse  square,  in 
Rockford,  where  the  remains  lay  in  state,  and  an 
address  was  delivered  by  Dr,  Kerr.  His  body 
was  then  sent  to  New  York  for  burial.  Colonel 
Nevius  was  only  twenty-six  years  of  age. 
Nevius  Post,  G.  A.  R.,  was  named  in  his  honor. 

Robert  H.  Tinker  was  born  at  Honolulu, 
Sandwich  Islands,  in  1837,  where  his  father.  Rev. 
Reuben  Tinker,  was  a  missionary,  sent  out  by  the 
Presbyterian  church.  IMr.  Tinker  came  to  Rock- 
ford in  1856.  He  built  the  Swiss  cottage  on 
Kent  creek,  the  most  picturesque  home  in  the 
city.  The  plan  of  his  unique  library,  on  two 
floors,  with  winding  stairway,  was  suggested  to 
Mr.  Tinker  by  his"  visit  to'  Sir  Walter  Scott's 
library,  more  than  forty  years  ago.  He  was 
elected  Mayor  of  Rockford  in  1875,  and  served 
one  term.  Mr.  Tinker  has  been  interested  in 
various  manufacturing  enterprises. 


John  H.  Hall  came  to  Rockford  in  1855,  and 
engaged  in  the  grocery  trade.  He  served  the 
city  as  alderman,  and  as  a  member  of  the  school 
board.  The  Hall  school  is  named  in  his  honor. 
His  death  occurred  in  1882. 

Lucius  ]\I.  West  was  born  at  Vernon  Centre, 
New  York,  June  19,  1820.  He  was  united  in 
marriage  to  Miss  Sarah  A.  Sturtevant,  of  his 
native  county.  In  1858  Mr.  and  Mrs.  West  and 
their  three  sons  came  to  Rockford.  In  1862  Mr. 
west  built  the  store  now  occupied  by  Peer's 
jewelry  store,  where  he  carried  on  trade  in  rub- 
ber goods  and  boots  and  shoes.  About  1874  he 
engaged  in  the  manufacture  and  jobbing  of 
enamel  carriage  top  dressing,  which  has  attained 
a  world-wide  re]5utation.  Mr.  West  was  actively 
identified  with  the  religious  interests  of  the  city. 
In  1875  '''£  appointed  a  religious  service  for 
Woodruff's  Addition,  and  for  three  years  and  a 
half  conducted  a  mission  school  there,  and  fur- 
nished the  building  at  his  own  expense.  He  died 
.\ugust  20,  1893. 

Charles  L.  Williams  was  born  in  Sherburne, 
Qienango  county.  New  York,  October  20,  1828. 
He  was  graduated  from  Hamilton  college  in 
1847.  and  in  1 85 1  he  received  the  degree  of  M. 
A.  from  his  alma  mater.  'Mr.  Williams  came  to 
Rockford  in  1859  and  engaged  in  mercantile  busi- 
ness. He  married  a  daughter  of  Mayor  Charles 
Williams  and  subsequently  purchased  his  father- 
in-law's  house  on  North  Main  street,  which  in- 
cluded the  lots  now  belonging  to  John  Barnes 
and  Mrs.  Julia  P.  Warren.  Air.  Williams  took 
an  active  interest  in  organizing  the  public 
library,  and  from  1872  to  1878  he  was  a  member 
of  the  board  of  directors. 

Daniel  N.  Hood  was  born  in  Salem,  Massa- 
chusetts, September  25,  1834,  and  came  to  Rock- 
ford in  1858.  Prof.  Hood  was  for  many  years  at 
the  head  of  the  nuisical  department  of  Rockford 
seminarv,  and  for  more  than  ten  years  of  this 
period  he  w-as  organist  of  the  Second  Presby- 
terian church  in  Chicago.  Prof.  Hood  now  re- 
sides in  Boston. 

Gilbert  Woodruff'  was  born  near  Watertown, 
New  York,  November  20,  1817.  He  came  to 
Rockford  in  1857,  and  soon  after  he  purchased 
and  platted  a  farm  which  is  now  known  as 
Woodruff's  Addition,  Easy  terms  of  payment 
were  given  purchasers  of  lots.  Mr.  Woodruff 
was  therefore  in  a  real  sense  one  of  the  builders 
of  Rockford.  He  had  been  president  of  the 
Rockford  National  Bank  since  its  organization ; 
president  of  the  Forest  City  Insurance  Company 
since  its  organization  in  1873  ;  and  president  of 
the  Forest  City  Furniture  Factory  since  1875. 
Air.  Woodruff  was  mayor  of  Rockford  from 
1873  to  1873.  He  died  in  Rockford  in  October, 
1903. 

Horace  \\".  Tavlor  was  born  in  Granby,  Mas- 

V 


84 


PAST     AND     l'RF,SEXT     OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


sacluisetts.  February  i,  1823.  He  was  gradu- 
ated from  Amherst  in  1848.  In  1857  he  came 
to  Rockford  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  the 
autumn  of  the  same  year.  For  forty  years  Mr. 
Taylor  was  a  well  known  member  of  the  legal 
profession  of  this  city.  In  1866  he  began  his 
work  as  master-in-chancery  under  appointment 
of  Judge  Sheldon.  This  position  he  held  until 
his  death,  e-xcept  an  interim  from  1872  to  1876. 
Mr.  Taylor  was  elected  a  member  of  the  legis- 
lature in  1878,  and  served  one  term.  His  death 
occurred  at  a  sanitarium  at  Kenosha,  August 
29.  1898. 

Marquis  L.  Gorham  was  a  native  of  Vermont, 
and  came  to  Rockford  in  1857.  He  obtained  a 
patent  for  a  seeder  manufactured  by  Clark  & 
I'tter.  and  for  a  corn  cultivator  made  by  N.  C. 
Thompson.  He  was  also  the  inventor  of  the 
\  first  twine  binder,  the  patent  for  which  was  sold 
L  to  C.  H.  McCormick.  Mr.  Gorham  died  at  Phila- 
delphia in  1876.  while  attending  the  Centennial 
exposition,  when  he  was  only  about  forty-five 
years  of  age. 

Norman  Cornelius  Thompson  was  born  in 
Knoxville,  Georgia,  May  25,  1828.  He  came  to 
Rockford  in  1857.  He  built  one  of  the  largest 
manufacturing  plants  on  the  water-power,  and 
his  immense  output  contributed  in  no  small  de- 
gree to  the  prestige  of  Rockford  as  a  manufactur- 
ing city.  Mr.  Thompson  was  a  public-spirited 
citizen,  and  a  generous  sup])orter  of  the  First 
Presbyterian  church.  Financial  reverses  over- 
took him  in  1884,  which  resulted  in  the  suspen- 
sion of  his  bank  in  East  Rockford,  and  his  re- 
tirement from  his  manufacturing  industry.  Mr. 
Thompson  died  July  4,  1898. 

Thomas  Butterworth  was  born  in  Manchester, 
England,  September  6.  1827.  In  his  twentieth 
year  he  came  to  America,  and  landed  at  New 
Orleans.  On  account  of  yellow  fever,  he  im- 
mediately went  to  Cincinnati.  He  entered  the 
employ  of  Stacy  &  Company,  the  proprietors  of 
the  Cincinnati  gas  works,  and  in  their  interest 
he  was  sent  to  repair  the  works  in  Rockford 
about  1856.  The  latter  plant  was  then  owned  by 
Lane,  Sanford  &  Co.  He  remained  in  Rockford 
and  assumed  the  management  of  the  works.  He 
also  continued  the  business  of  contractor,  and 
built  Brown's  Hall,  the  old  People's  Bank  Build- 
ing on  State  street,  and  other  buildings.  He 
subsequently  sold  his  contracting  business,  and 
in  time  became  the  sole  owner  of  the  gas  plant. 
In  1878  Mr.  Butterworth  was  elected  a  member 
of  the  legislature,  as  a  democrat,  and  served  one 
term.  His  death  occurred  at  Ashville,  North 
Carolina.  .April  5,   1885. 

William  H.  Townsend  came  to  Rockford  in 
1857,  from  Springfield,  Pennsylvania.  He  was 
in    artluent    circumstances.      I  lis   home    was   on 


.South  Third  street,  well  known  in  later  years  as 
the  residence  of  Dr.  D.  S.  Clark.  Mr.  Townsend 
was  a  stockholder  and  director  of  the  Rock 
River  Mutual  F'irc  Insurance  Company,  and  the 
later  reverses  of  the  company  were  a  source  of 
such  an.xiety  to  him  that  he  became  deranged, 
June  2,  1869.  his  body  was  found  in  Rock  river, 
about  four  and  a  half  miles  south  of  the  city.  ^Ir. 
Townsend  was  about  si.xty  years  of  age,  and  had 
been  a  member  of  the  board  of  education.  He 
was  held  in  high  esteem,  and  his  death  was  a 
great  shock  to  the  community. 

F.  H.  Manny  came  to  Rockford  in  1859.  He 
was  a  cousin  of  John  P.  and  John  H.  Manny. 
For  some  years  he  was  engaged  in  manufactur- 
ing on  the  water-power.  His  home  was  the  resi- 
dence owned  later  by  W.  F.  Iludler.  on  the  South 
side.  He  met  willi  reverses  in  1875,  went  to 
W'aukegan,  and  from  there  to  Chicago.  Mr. 
Manny  died  in  Chicago,  .\pril  15,  1899,  at  the 
age  of  eighty-two  years.  The  remains  were 
brought  to  Rockford  for  interment. 

.\niong  other  well  known  citizens  who  came 
to  Rockford  during  this  period  are  the  follow- 
ing: George  frufant,  George  H.  Dennett.  Wm. 
McKinlev,  1855:  .A.  C.  Burpee,  1856:  David 
Kevt.  S.'F.  Penfield.  D.  S.  Hough,  H.  B.  Hale, 
W.'H.  Smith,  C.  .\.  Shaw.  1857:  John  R.  Porter, 
1859. 

Other  citizens  engaged  in  active  business  dur- 
ing the  fifties  were:  L.  H.  Todd,  dealer  in  boots 
and  shoes ;  Thomas  Ennett,  contractor :  D.  Miller, 
boots  and  shoes ;  J.  W.  Seccomb.  books ;  C.  T. 
Sackett,  painter;  W.  G.  Johnson,  painter;  Rob- 
ert Smith,  hatter ;  J.  B.  Agard,  grain  buyer ; 
Joseph  Burns,  dry  goods ;  \\'m.  Lyman,  physi- 
cian ;  John  Fraley,  druggist ;  Israel  Sovereign, 
hardware  dealer. 

Several  early  settlers  should  have  been  men- 
tioned in  their  proper  chronological  order. 
.\mong  these  was  Levi  Rhoades,  born  at  Hins- 
dale, New  York,  June  23,  1830.  In  1847  he  came 
to  Rockford.  He  learned  the  cooper's  trade,  and 
during  the  war  he  laid  the  foundation  of  a  large 
estate  in  supplying  the  demand  for  barrels.  He 
continued  in  this  business  until  1884.  Mr. 
Rhoades  was  interested  in  many  manufacturing 
cnterjirises.  and  was  a  man  of  great  force  and 
executive  ability.  He  was  elected  mayor  of  Rock- 
ford in  187^).  and  served  one  year.  His  death  oc- 
curred November  19.  1891. 

W.  D.  Trahcrn  was  born  in  Loudoun  county, 
N'irginia,  March  24,  1824.  In  1848  he  came  to 
Rockford.  and  the  following  year  he  began  the 
manufacture  of  threshing-machines.  In  1862 
Mr.  Trahern  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  iron 
l)umps.  Mr.  Trahern  was  successful  in  business, 
a  considerate  employer,  and  was  highly  esteemed. 
He  died  No /ember' 2,  1883. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


OMINOUS   WAR  CLOUDS. 

The  presidential  election  of  i860  marked  an 
epoch  in  American  history.  The  nation  had  come 
to  the  parting  of  the  ways.  Mr.  Lincoln's 
prophecy  that  the  g-overnment  could  not  per- 
manently endure  half  slave  and  half  free,  was 
about  to  be  demonstrated  before  the  world.  Mr. 
Lincoln,  by  reason  of  his  profound  insight  into 
the  political  situation,  which  he  had  shown  in  his 
debates  with  Jndge  Douglas,  was  the  logical  can- 
didate of  his  party. 

The  nomination  of  Mr.  Lincoln  was  received 
with  great  enthusiasm  by  the  citizens  of  Rock- 
ford.  In  August  the  Rockford  Wide  Awake 
Club  was  organized.  Its  object  was  co-operation 
for  the  success  of  republican  principles  and  the 
election  of  Mr.  Lincoln. 

Saturday,  September  ist,  was  a  republican 
rally  day.  The  Wide  Awake  Clubs  from  neigh- 
boring towns  were  present.  The  special  attrac- 
tion was  Cassius  M.  Clay,  the  celebrated  orator 
of  Kentucky.  The  exercises  were  held  on  the 
courthouse  square,  and  it  was  estimated  that 
fully  twelve  thousand  people  were  in  attendance. 
The  first  speech  was  made  by  Hon.  James  H. 
Baker,  secretary  of  state  of  Minnesota.  Mr. 
Clay  was  introduced  by  Judge  S.  M.  Church. 
"His  oratory,"  said  the  Register,  "is  not  of  the 
fervid  kind,  but  he  is  a  calm,  cool,  deliberate 
speaker,  laying  out  his  ideas  into  square  blocks 
of  solid  argument  and  building  up  an  edifice  sup- 
ported b}-  facts  and  figures  which  it  is  absolutely 
impossible  to  undermine  or  batter  down." 

During  September  and  October,  a  series  of 
joint  discussions  was  held  by  Judge  Allen  C. 
Fuller,  of  Belvidere,  and  John  A.  Rawlins,  of 
Galena,  on  the  political  issues  of  the  day.  One 
joint  debate  was  held  in  each  county  of  the  First 
congressional  district.  Judge  Fuller  was  the  re- 
publican candidate  for  presidential  elector,  and 
Mr.  Rawlins  was  the  candidate  of  the  Douglas 
democracv.  One  discussion  was  held  in  Rock- 
ford,  September  29th.  These  debates  have  a 
historic  interest  by  reason  of  the  subsequent 
prominence  of  the  participants.  Judge  Fuller  be- 
came the  war  adjutant  of  the  state,  and  in  this 
capacity  he  displayed  great  executive  ability,  and 
was  the  able  supporter  of  Governor  Yates,  in  the 
organization  of  the  military  forces  of  the  state. 
Judge  Fuller  died  in  Belvidere  in  December, 
1901.  Upon  the  outbreak  of  the  war  in  1861, 
Mr.  Rawlins  came  promptly  to  the  support  of 
the  union  cause ;  he  was  the  confidential  friend 
and  adviser  of  General  Grant  during  his  cam- 
paigns, and  in  i86g  he  became  his  secretary  of 
war. 

Among  other  gentlemen  who  made  addresses 
in  Rockford  during  the  campaign  were  Judge 
Lyman  Trumbull,  Stephen  A.  Hurlbut,  Governor 


Bebb,  Melancthon  Smith,  Colonel  Ellis,  James 
L.  Loop  and  Judge  Church.  Richard  Yates  and 
Owen  Lovejoy  made  speeches  at  Belvidere,  Oc- 
tober 9th. 

The  presidential  election  was  held  November 
6th.  Winnebago  county  cast  3,985  votes  for 
Aljraham  Lincoln  and  817  for  Judge  Douglas; 
Richard  Yates  received  3,986  votes  for  governor, 
and  Mr.  Allen  826. 

The  election  of  Mr.  Lincoln  was  perhaps  the 
most  notable  event  in  the  life  of  the  nation. 
The  shouts  of  victory  had  scarcely  died  away 
when  one  southern  state  after  another  openly 
revolted  from  the  authority  of  the  union.  The 
election  of  Mr.  Lincoln  brought  the  sword,  rather 
than  peace.  But  the  sword  was  drawn  in  a  holy 
cause.  For  two  hundred  and  fifty  years  the 
irrepressible  conflict  between  freedom  and  slavery 
had  continued.  The  "land  of  the  free"  had  made 
iniquity  her  law.  Alillions  of  bondsmen  wet  the 
soil  with  their  tears  and  blood.  Cause  and  effect, 
the  chancellors  of  God,  had  come  to  enforce  the 
truth  that  there  were  rights  that  states  must  keep 
or  they  shall  suffer  for  their  sins.  Victor  Hugo 
says  of  Napoleon  at  Waterloo:  "For  Bonaparte 
to  be  conqueror  at  Waterloo  was  not  in  the  law 
of  the  nineteenth  century.  *  *  *  When  earth 
is  suffering  from  a  surcharge  there  are  mysterious 
moanings  from  the  deeps  that  the  heavens  hear. 
Napoleon  had  been  impeached  before  the  Infinite 
and  his  fall  was  decreed.  He  vexed  God.  Wa- 
terloo is  not  a  battle ;  it  is  the  change  of  front  of 
the  universe."  So  the  slave-power  had  overleaped 
itself,  and  could  no  longer  resist  the  advance  of 
a  more  enlightened  Christian  civilization. 

Abraham  Lincoln  was  the  divinely  appointed 
man  for  the  hour.  There  seem  to  be  certain 
superhuman  adjustments  that  philosophy  does 
not  explain,  that  work  out  righteous  results.  Hu- 
man wisdom  does  not  foresee  them :  they  do  not 
destro\-  human  freedom,  but  they  do  achieve 
their  results  with  infallible  certainty.  The  lead- 
ers of  such  events  are  like  Aeneas  in  the  fable : 
they  are  often  covered  with  a  cloud  woven  by 
divine  fingers,  and  men  do  not  see  them.  But 
when  they  are  needed  the  cloud  breaks  away, 
and  they  stand  before  the  world  prepared  to  do 
their  work.  Such  a  man  was  Abraham  Lincoln. 
He  was  called  to  lead  in  a  war  made  holy  by  the 
quickened  moral  conscience  of  the  nation.  Poets, 
and  reformers  and  statesmen  had  cast  up  the 
highwav  for  the  King,  who  should  visit  the  na- 
tion with  chastening.  This  judgment  day  was 
at  hand,  because  Phillips  and  Garrison  and  Sum- 
ner had  come :  because  Whittier  and  Lowell  and 
Harriet  Beecher  Stowe  had  come ;  because  Lin- 
coln and  Seward  and  Chase  had  come :  because 
Grant  and  Sherman  and  Sheridan  had  come ; 
because  the  great  and  terrible  day  of  the  Lord 
had  come. 


86 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


THE   STORY   (IF   THIC    CIVIL    WAR. 

As  soon  as  the  ek-clion  of  Abraham  I.iiicohi 
was  definitely  ascertained,  the  legislature  of  South 
Carolina  smnmoned  a  sovereiiji)  convention  of 
the  people  of  that  state,  which  met  December  17, 
i860.  Three  days  later  this  convention  adopted 
an  ordinance  of  secession,  which  declared  the  state 
no  longer  a  member  of  the  union.  Mississippi 
seceded  January  ().  1861  :  I'^Iorida,  January  10; 
Alabama,  January  11;  Cleorg^ia.  January  19; 
Louisiana.  January  26;  Texas.  I-'ebruary  i.  The 
forts,  arsenals  and  other  federal  jiropcrty  within 
the  limits  of  these  states  were  seized  by  the  au- 
thorities thereof,  with  the  exceptions  of  Forts 
Moultrie  and  Sumter. 

Deleg-atcs  from  the  seceding'  states  met  at 
Montgomery,  .\labama.  February  4,  1861,  and 
proceeded  at  once  to  organize  a  new  rejjublic.  with 
the  name  of  the  Confederate  States  of  America. 
F'ebruary  8th  a  provisional  government  was  de- 
clared, with  Jefferson  Davis  as  president.  April 
8th  Governor  Pickens,  of  South  Carolina,  was 
notified  b\-  the  general  government  of  its  inten- 
tion to  relieve  Fort  Sumter  at  all  hazards. 
Governor  Pickens  at  once  informed  General 
lleauregard  of  this  official  notification,  and  the 
news  was  sent  by  him  to  the  Confederate  gcvem- 
mcnl  at  .Montgomery.  Its  secretary  of  war  there- 
upon ordered  (ieneral  Beauregard  to  demand  the 
immediate  surrender  of  Fort  Sumter. 

On  Friday  morning,  .April  12th,  the  Confederate 
batteries  opened  fire  upon  the  fort.  The  bom- 
bardment lasted  thirty-two  hours.  Late  in  the 
afternoon  of  the  13th  Major  .\nders()n.  in  com- 
mand of  the  fort,  agreed  to  capitulate,  and  the 
firing  ceased.  On  the  morning  of  Sundav.  .Viiril 
I4.th,  Fort  Sumter  was  surrendered  to  the  Con- 
federate forces,  and  Major  Anderson  and  his  gar- 
rison sailed  at  once  for  New  York.  Treason  had 
struck  the  decisive  blow ;  war  was  inevitable. 

Tin-;    FIRST    WAR    SERMON. 

To  the  late  Dr.  Tliomas  Kerr  belongs  the  honor 
of  preaching  the  first  war  sermon  in  Rockford. 
He  was  then  pastor  of  the  First  na])tist  church. 
Sunday  morning,  .\pril  I4tli.  the  startling  news 
was  received  that  .Sumter  had  fallen.  It  was  one 
of  the  critical  moments  in  the  nation's  life.  Under 
its  solemn  inspiration  Dr.  Kerr  preached  an  im- 
pressive, patriotic  discourse  Sunday  afternoon  in 
the  liaptist  church.  l"or  the  first  time  in  the 
history  of  Rockford,  the  .American  flag  graced 
the  sanctuary  of  the  God  of  battles.  It  was  a 
symbol  of  the  true  union  of  church  and  state. 
But  it  was  then  an  innovatii>n.  Public  worship 
was  then  of  the  "churchly"  sort.  Questions  of 
the  ilay  had  not  been  discussefl  in  the  ])ulpit.  The 
Civil  war  made  the  services  of  the  church  more 


practical  and  less  theological.  The  pendulum  has 
never  swung  back. 

.'Sunday  afternoon.  .April  28,  1861.  Dr.  Kerr 
preached  aiinther  stirring  war  semion  in  the 
Ba])tist  church.  The  auditorium  was  crowded 
and  the  pastor  preached  a  semion  of  great  power. 
Several  times  during  its  delivery  his  noble  senti- 
ments were  greeted  with  outbursts  of  applause. 
None  of  Dr.  Kerr's  local  contemporaries  in  the 
ministry  are  now  living.  The  hearts  moved  by 
the  elocjuence  of  that  hour  have  ceased  to  beat. 
The  aged  preacher  himself  was  almost  the  last 
survivor  of  that  historic  day. 

Dr.  Kerr  was  asked  to  rei)eat  this  discourse  to 
a  larger  audience.  He  responded  in  Metropolitan 
Hall  Sunday  evening.   May  5. 

Monday  morning.  .April  15th,  President  Lin- 
coln issued  a  proclamation  calling  for  75,000 
volunteers  to  "subdue  combinations  too  powerful 
to  be  supi)ressed  by  the  ordinary  course  of  judi- 
cial proceedings,  and  to  cause  the  laws  to  be  duly 
executed."  On  the  same  day  a  dispatch  was  re- 
ceived at  .'^pringfield.  stating  that  the  quota  of 
Illinois  under  the  president's  call  was  six  regi- 
ments of  militia.  (Governor  Yates  therefore  issued 
a  proclamation,  convening  the  legislature  in 
special  session,  .Ajiril  23(1,  for  the  ]nir])ose  of 
putting  the  state  upon  a  more  effective  war  foot- 
ing. 

The  attack  upon  Sumter  obliterated  all  party 
lines  in  Winnebago  county,  and  friends  and  oppo- 
nents of  the  administration  sprang  to  arms  to  de- 
fend the  government  from  the  assaults  of  traitors. 
It  is  said  that  when  Cadnnis  of  old  needed  men 
he  sowed  dragons'  teeth,  and  forthwith  from  the 
ground  came  warriors  armed  for  battle.  So  when 
Treason  threw  down  the  gauntlet,  loyal  legions 
of  freedom  acce|)ted  the  gage  of  battle. 

Tin:    ROCK  FORD    ZOUAVES. 

The  war  record  of  Winnebago  countv  has 
never  been  fidly  written,  and  no  com])lete  history 
can  be  assured  in  the  future.  Owing  to  failures 
to  make  ])roi)er  retiuMis  at  Springfield,  even  the 
adjutant-general's  reports  are  only  apiiroximate- 
ly  correct.  The  late  General  Fuller  did  much  to 
com|)lete  the  records,  but  he  could  not  achieve 
the  impossible.  S(ime  enlisted  in  regiments  or- 
ganized in  other  states,  and  in  many  instances 
credit  was  not  ])ro|)erly  given.  The  scope  of  this 
work  does  not  admit  a  full  treatment  of  even  the 
available  sources  of  information,  but  the  brief 
outline  is  believed  to  be  correct. 

Ten  days  after  the  fall  of  Sumter  the  first 
com|)any  (^f  Rockford  volunteers  marcherl  to  the 
front  to  the  "wild,  grand  music  of  war."  They 
bore  the  name  of  the  Rockford  Zouaves.  The 
story  of  their  origin  may  be  briefly  noted.  Dur- 
ing   the     Lincoln     campaign     a     "Wide-Awake" 


PAST     AND    PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


87 


niarcliinij;-  club  was  organized,  in  command  of 
Captain  Garrett  L.  Xevius.  When  the  presiden- 
tial campaign  was  over  they  were  reluctant  to 
abandon  the  organization,  and  when  Captain  Nev- 
ius  proposed  a  military  company,  it  met  w"ith  gen- 
eral favor.  A  meeting  was  held  December  26, 
i860,  at  the  photograph  gallery  of  Barnes,  Nevius 
&  Company,  when  preliminary  steps  were  taken, 
and  January  3,  1861.  the  Rockford  Zouaves  were 
formally  organized.  The\'  had.  of  course,  no  idea 
of  the  future  before  them. 

Garrett  L.  Nevius  was  chosen  captain ;  R.  A. 
Bird,  first  lieutenant :  \\'.  D,  E.  Andrus,  second 
lieutenant :  R.  S.  Norman,  ensign :  F.  F.  Peats, 
orderly  sergeant ;  H.  H.  Dean,  second  sergeant ; 
J.  H.  Manny,  third  sergeant;  C.  B.  Hull,  fourth 
sergeant ;  Randolph  D.  Hobart,  first  corporal :  E. 
Lugrin,  second  corporal :  Thomas  Anvon,  third 
corporal :  O.  C.  Towne.  fourth  corporal ;  I.  S. 
Hyatt,  secretary,  and  C.  T.  Jellerson,  treasurer. 

Aleetings  for  drill  were  held  during  the  winter. 
January  17,  186 1,  resolutions  were  adopted  to 
the  effect  that  they  should  hold  themselves  in 
readiness  to  respond  to  any  possible  call  for 
troops. 

At  a  meeting  held  February  2d  the  South 
Rockford  band  was  admitted  to  membership. 
This  band  consisted  of  F.  A[.  Xeedham  and  J.  A. 
Hobart,  drummers,  and  C.  H.  Alarsh.  fifer.  They 
entered  with  the  imderstanding  that  they  w^ere  to 
have  no  more  privileges  than  any  of  the  other 
members.  Xeedham  and  Hobart  entered  the 
service  as  drummers,  and  Needham  is  now  drum- 
ming for  Nevius  post. 

April  13th  there  was  an  impressive  meeting  of 
the  Zouaves.  Captain  Xevius  made  a  stirrijig 
speech.  The  last  meeting  noted  in  the  record 
book  was  held  April  i6th.  By  that  time  the  com- 
pany had  received  orders  to  report  at  Springfield. 
A  subscription  paper  had  been  circulated  to  raise 
money  to  furnish  uniforms  for  the  Zouaves,  and 
by  .A.pril  20th  $1,200  had  been  pledged,  with  the 
promise  of  more  if  it  should  be  needed.  Men. 
women  and  children  bent  their  efforts  toward  get- 
ting the  Zouaves  in  shape  for  service.  The  wom- 
en sent  their  sewing  machines  up  to  concert  hall, 
and  gathered  there  to  make  the  uniforms  out  of 
bolts  of  blue  flannel  secured  as  donations  from 
the  merchants  and  with  money  subscribed  by  the 
men.  Those  were  busy  days  in  concert  hall. 
Women  worked  as  they  had  never  worked  before, 
willingly,  yet  reluctantly  ;  tearfully,  and  yet  cheer- 
fully, as  each  tried  to  encourage  the  other  and 
remove  the  fears  that  they  were  preparing  for  a 
final  parting  from  their  loved  ones.  There  was 
much  to  do,  and  a  discussion  arose  on  the  subject 
of  working  on  Sunday.  Ajjril  21st.  The  citizens 
were  a  Sunday-keeping  people  then,  perhaps  more 
so  than  now,  but  it  was  resolved  that  the  work 


ju.stified  it,  and  the  women  labored  all  that  bright 
and  beautiful  day  in  early  spring. 

Wednesday,  April  24,  1861,  the  Rockford  Zou- 
aves left  Rockford  for  the  capital  of  the  state. 
Business  was  g-enerally  stispended,  and  between 
four  and  five  thousand  people  were  at  the  train 
to  bid  them  farewell. 

The  Zouaves  first  enlisted  for  three  months' 
service,  and  became  Company  D,  of  the  Eleventh 
Illinois  Infantry,  of  which  W.  H.  L.  Wallace  was 
colonel. 

This  compan\-.  with  two  recruits  in  the  follow- 
ing June,  and  one  member  of  the  noncommis- 
sioned regimental  staff,  numbered  exactly  one 
hundred  inen.  They  were  the  vanguard  of  the 
amiy  furnished  b)'  Winnebago  county.  They 
belong  to  the  first  roll  of  honor,  and  for  this  rea- 
son their  names  are  given  in  full  as  follows : 

Captain,  Garrett  L,  X^evius ;  first  lieutenant, 
Rhenodyne  A.  Bird ;  second  lieutenant,  William 
D.  E.  Andrus ;  first  sergeant,  Henry  H.  Dean ; 
sergeants,  Randolph  D.  Hobart,  James  H,  Man- 
ny, Charles  B,  Hull ;  corporals,  Edward  F,  Lu- 
grin, Thomas  Anyon,  C)rin  C,  Towne,  Frederick 
Brown :  musicians,  John  A.  Hobart,  Mills  F. 
X'eedham :  privates,  Charles  E.  .\rnold,  William 
.\tkins,  Lcander  Bander,  Alfred  Barker,  Thomas 
J.  Bryan.  David  O.  Butolph,  Henry  L.  Brown, 
John  Beatson,  Alpheus  D.  Brown,  Alpheus  M. 
Blakesley,  George  C,  Brown.  Benjamin  Bentson. 
Thomas  Beddoes,  Thomas  W.  Cole,  Orin  W. 
Cram,  Andrew  Clark,  Bradford  A.  Champlain, 
Henry  W.  Cooling.  Ervin  E.  Clark.  William  W. 
Clark.  Richard  A.  Compton,  Philip  Crooker, 
Charles  D.  Clark,  George  \\'.  Darling.  George  E. 
Dol])hin.  Elislia  S.  Daggett.  Charles  L.  Dunham, 
John  L,  Davis.  Alexander  X.  Davis.  Charles  B. 
Eaton,  Jud  .A..  Ellison.  John  E.  Elliott,  Peter  En- 
galls,  William  D.  Frost,  Almond  Gifford,  Har- 
vey Hemenwa}-,  Derastus  Holmes,  Simon  Hos- 
mer,  Charles  Hawkinson,  lereon  R.  Hest,  Freder- 
ick I.  Horsman,  George  J.  Hitchcock,  Herring- 
ton  Love,  Daniel  E.  Lee,  Xeri  R.  Mosher,  George 
W.  Maguire,  John  McGuire,  Edward  E.  Magee, 
J.  George  Manlove,  George  H.  Manchester,  Wil- 
liam L.  Mesick,  Charles  Pittinger,  Charles  N. 
Price,  Levi  Pitney.  Frederick  L.  Posson,  Luman 
G.  Pierce,  Floyd  B.  Penoyer.  Rudolph  W.  Peake, 
William  M.  Putman,  Charles  X.  Roberts.  Walter 
Reckard.  Shepard  P.  Strunk,  Louis  Schlunt,  Jo- 
seph R.  Shields,  Erastus  T.  Stevens.  William  H. 
Skeed,  Henry  P.  Strong.  .-Vmbrose  Stearns.  J. 
Murray  Southgate,  Christopher  C.  Shank,  James 
M,  Stevens,  Thomas  A.  Stevens,  Edward  S. 
Smith,  Edwin  Swift,  Edward  P,  Thomas,  Riley 
\'an  Patten,  John  Wagner,  Rufus  L,  Whitney, 
Jolm  W.  Warfield,  John  W^  Warner,  William 
\\'inter,  George  \\'irkin,  William  G.  D.  Weed, 
Francis  B.  Wakeman :  recruits,  Marion  E,  De- 
lanv,  Louis  Houston. 


88 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


Twenty  members  of  the  Zouaves  were  subse- 
(|iiently  sent  home  from  Siiriiitrfield,  under  an 
army  re.trulution  tliat  companies  nnist  not  exceed 
ninctv-seven  men.  inchuhng'  officers.  Some  of 
these  promptly  enHsted  in  other  companies. 

The  first  soldier  from  Rockford  to  die  for  his 
country  in  the  Civil  war  was  Xeri  R.  Mosher, 
one  of  the  first  Zouave  volunteers.  He  died  June 
5th  of  tyi>hoi(l  fever,  at  Camp  Hardin,  near  Villa 
Ridf^e.  Illinois,  and  his  remains  were  sent  to 
Rockford  for  interment. 

.Vu.sfust  8th.  after  three  months  of  service,  the 
Zouaves  returned  to  Rockford.  Many  of  them 
promptly  re-cnlisted,  and  eig:ht  days  later,  .Au- 
STust  1 6th.  they  again  went  to  the  front.  Captain 
W.  D.  E.  Andrus  was  detailed  as  recruiting  offi- 
cer, and  it  was  not  until  Xovembcr  13th  that  the 
ranks  were  filled,  when  the  recruits  joined  the 
coiupany  at  Bird's  Point.  The  Rockford  Cit\' 
band  entered  service  with  the  Zouaves  and  be- 
came a  part  of  the  Eleventh  regiment.  The  fol- 
lowing named  musicians  constituted  the  regi- 
mental band : 

Leader,  M.  H.  P.aldwin :  musicians,  Robert  .\1- 
chin,  Rufus  B.  Artz,  Prolia  .A.rtz,  Charles  B. 
Eaton  ( Xo.  1),  Charles  B.  Eaton  (No.  2),  James 
Eaton,  Augtistus  Dedrickson,  Thomas  Gray, 
Giarles  W.  Halcum,  Charles  P.  Henrick,  Daniel 
Kipp.  Isaac  Larue,  Horace  Nettleton,  John  P. 
Xettleton,   Henry  C.   Sullivan. 

The  total  number  of  men  enrolled  in  Company 

D,  of  the  Eleventh  Regiment,  including  recruits 
for  the  three  years,  was  one  hundred  and  four. 
With  the  field  and  staff,  non-commissioned  staff, 
musicians  and  nine  unassigned  recruits  in  Com- 
pany K.  the  total  enlistments  for  this  county  in 
the  Elcvcntli  Regiment  were  one  hundred  and 
thirty-three. 

THF.    Fir<ST    WAR    MF.F.TI.N'G. 

In  following  the  early  history  of  the  Zouaves, 
the  reader  has  been  taken  out  of  the  strict  chron- 
ological order  of  events.  The  narrative  mav  now 
be  resumed  at  another  point. 

.\n  im])romptu  meeting  of  citizens  was  called 
in  Rockford,  ancl  a  committee  appointed  to  pre- 
pare and  issue  a  call  for  a  mass  meeting.  This 
committee  consisted  of  E.  F.  W.  Ellis,  Selden 
M.  Church  and  L.  F.  Warner. 

Pursuant  to  a  call  issued  by  the  committee,  a 
mass  meeting  was  held  at  the  courtliouse 
Wednesday  afternoon,  .\pril  24th,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  considering  the  state  of  the  country. 
Judge  Church  was  called  to  the  chair.     Messrs. 

E.  F.  W.  Ellis,  Hall.  Dr.  William  Lyman.  D.  J. 
Stewart  and  Dr.  R.  P.  Lane  were  appointed  a 
committee  on  resolutions,  which  were  unanimous- 
ly adopted,  with  great  enthusiasm.  .Speeches  were 
made  liv    Dr.   William   Lvman,    E.    F.   W.   Ellis, 


JaiTies  L.  Loop,  E.  W.  Blaisdell,  L.  F.  Warner, 
."^eely  Perry,  John  .Abrahamson,  T.  .'\.  C.  Beard, 
Jason  Marsh  and  B.  .McKenney. 

TIIF   F.LLIS   RIFLES. 

E.  F.  W.  Ellis  was  one  of  the  first  citizens  to 
l>ecome  inspired  with  an  ardent  military  spirit, 
which  found  its  expression  in  the  organization  of 
a  cnm])any,  the  Ellis  Rifles,  which  he  tendered 
to  the  governor.  The  enrollment  began  Wednes- 
day. .April  24th,  and  the  ranks  were  filled  in  less 
than  one  week.  Mr.  Ellis  was  chosen  captain ; 
Holder  Brownell.  first  lieutenant :  Cyrenius  C. 
Clark,  second  lieutenant.  On  Saturday,  May  11, 
the  Rifles  went  into  camp  at  Freeport,  and  were 
subsequently  known  as  Company  C,  of  the  Fif- 
teenth Infantry,  under  command  of  Colonel 
Thomas  J.  Turner.  The  total  enrollment  of  Com- 
pany C,  including  veterans  and  recruits,  was 
ninety-three  men.  A'olunteers  from  Winnebago 
enlisted  in  other  companies  of  the  Fifteenth.  The 
total  enrollment  of  this  regiment  from  Winne- 
bago county,  including  field  and  staff,  non-com- 
missioned staff,  privates,  veterans,  recruits  and 
unclassified  recruits,  was  one  hundred  and  twen- 
ty-five men.  The  adjutant's  report  also  gives 
the  names  of  fifteen  volunteers  from  this  county 
in  the  reorganized  Fifteenth  Regiment. 

(  APTAIX    KKTCHESON'.S   COMPAXV. 

Daniel  (X  Ketchcson  was  also  among  the  first 
to  respond  to  the  call  of  his  country.  He  organ- 
ized a  companv  called  the  Rockford  Rifles.  By 
reason  of  some  confusion  and  embarrassment, 
limvever.  at  Springfield,  he  failed  to  get  into  the 
service  of  his  own  state,  and  the  company  at 
once  disbanded.  A  new  muster  roll  was  imme- 
diately o|)ened  and  another  company  fonued.  It 
went  into  camp  at  the  fair  grounds,  where  it  took 
a  full  course  of  drill.  Friday.  May  31,  Captain 
Kctcheson's  company  left  Rockford  for  St.  Louis, 
where  it  was  accepted  as  Company  I.  of  the  Sixth 
Missouri  Regiment,  under  command  of  Frank 
Blair.  Captain  Ketchcson  died  in  Rockford  .April 
28,  1864.  He  fought  bravely  at  Corinth.  \'icks- 
burg.  Champion  Hills,  .Arkansas  Post,  Mission 
Ridge  and  Chattanooga.  .At  \'icksburg  and  Ar- 
kansas Post  Captain  Ketchcson  led  charges  and 
cneered  his  men  to  the  very  muzzles  of  the  guns 
of  the  enemy. 

DF.ATII    OF    COr.OXF.L    F.LI.S WORTH. 

Colonel  Ephraini  Elmer  Ellsworth  is  one  of 
the  most  historic  figures  of  the  early  war  period. 
He  was  a  national  character,  yet  there  were  rea- 
sons why  local  interest  attaches  to  his  meinory, 
and  to  the  older  residents  wlio  had  known  him 
he  still  seems  as  one  of  their  own  heroic  bovs. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


89 


Colonel  Ellsworth  was  born  in  Mechanicsville, 
New  York,  April  23,  1837.  After  a  brief  mer- 
cantile career  in  Tro}-  and  New  York,  he  removed 
to  Chica,a;o  at  an  early  age.  where  he  became  a 
solicitor  of  patents. 

In  1858  Colonel  Ellsworth  was  engaged  as 
drillmaster  for  the  old  Rockford  City  Greys,  an 
independent  military  company,  which  had  been 
organized  two  years  before.  Under  his  instruc- 
tions the  company  attained  a  high  degree  of  pro- 
ficiency. In  September,  1858,  an  encampment 
was  held  on  the  fair  grounds,  which  continued 
four  days. 

The  Rockford  Register  of  June  i,  1861,  in  edi- 
torially commenting  upon  his  death,  said  of  this 
brilliant  military^  leader :  "Although  young,  he 
had  proven  himself  to  be  surpassed  by  no  man  in 
the  land  as  a  teacher  of  military  rules  and  drill, 
and,  in  fact,  was  the  father  of  the  Zouave  drill 
in  this  country.  No  one  has  forgotten  his  splen- 
did tour  through  the  northern  states  last  sum- 
mer, stopping  for  drill  in  every  large  city  of  the 
north,  received  with  acclamations  of  joy  at  every 
point,  and  taking  his  command  through  that  try- 
ing military  ordeal,  crowned  with  honors,  and 
the  reputation  of  being  the  best  drilled  corps  of 
men  in  the  United  States.'' 

Colonel  Ellsworth  was  a  splendid  type  of  young 
manhood.  He  was  received  as  a  social  lion  by 
the  young  people  of  Rockford.  He  was  frequent- 
ly a  guest  at  the  home  of  Charles  H.  Spafford, 
and  at  the  time  of  his  death  he  was  betrothed  to 
his  elder  daughter,  now  Mrs.  Carrie  S.  Brett. 

In  i860  Colonel  Ellsworth  organized  a  com- 
panv  of  Zouaves  in  Chicago,  and  the  following 
year  he  accompanied  President  Lincoln  to  Wash- 
ington. May  24,  1 861,  upon  seeing  a  Confeder- 
ate flag  floating  from  a  hotel  in  Alexandria,  Vir- 
ginia, he  rushed  to  the  roof  and  tore  it  down.  On 
his  return  from  the  roof  he  was  met  and  shot 
dead  by  Jackson,  the  owner,  who,  in  turn,  was 
killed  by  one  of  Ellsworth's  men,  Frank  E. 
Browneli.  Colonel  Ellsworth's  blood  was  the 
first  shed  in  the  civil  conflict. 

The  nation  mourned  his  loss  as  of  the  fairest 
of  the  flower  of  her  chivalrv.  The  New  York 
World  paid  him  this  noble  tribute :  "He  was  a 
hero  in  the  fairest  and  most  captivating  sense  of 
the  word.  He  was  as  handsome  as  Murat  and 
as  brave  as  Ney.  He  possessed  to  a  degree  that 
winning  power  over  men  by  which,  through  all 
historv.  great  captains  and  leaders  have  been  dis- 
tinguished. He  was  a  commander  by  the  im- 
perial right  of  birth.  Quick,  alert,  exclusive,  in- 
tuitive in  his  perception  of  tne  qualities  of  men ; 
rigorous  in  discipline,  yet  submitting  himself  to 
the  rigors  which  he  imposed." 

Colonel  Ellsworth's  funeral  was  held  in  the 
east  room  of  the  White  House.  Among  the 
mourners  was  General  \^'infield  Scott,  dressed  in 


the  full  uniform  of  his  high  position.  Before 
him  lay  the  dead  body  of  one,  almost  a  boy  in 
vcars,  who  had  died  in  the  service  of  his  country, 
and  around  him  were  gathered  the  great  ones  of 
the  land.  There  were  President  Lincoln,  Simon 
Cameron,  William  H.  Seward,  Commander 
Paulding,  of  the  Navy,  Nathaniel  P.  Banks,  and 
other  men  high  in  the  councils  of  the  nation. 

Sunday  afternoon,  June  2d,  Rev.  H.  M.  Good- 
win preached  a  memorial  service  on  the  death  of 
Colonel  Ellsworth  in  the  Second  Congregational 
church.  The  day  and  hour  were  the  same  that 
similar  services  were  held  in  Chicago. 

DE.\TH   OF  .STEPHEN   .\.  DOUGLAS. 

Stephen  A.  Douglas  died  at  the  old  Tremont 
House,  in  Chicago,  June  3,  1861,  at  the  age  of 
fortv-eight  vears.  With  the  single  exception  of 
Abraham  Lincoln,  no  personality  in  the  history  of 
Illinois  possesses  more  elements  of  intense  in- 
terest than  that  of  Senator  Douglas.  His  life  was 
a  notable  example  of  the  perils  and  possibilities  of 
genius.  Douglas  was  ambition's  child  and  king. 
With  the  single  exception  of  Henry  Clay,  he  was 
the  greatest  parliamentary  leader  in  American 
history. 

Rockford  shared  the  nation's  grief  in  the  death 
of  Senator  Douglas.  Memorial  services  were 
held  on  the  courthouse  square,  Saturday  after- 
noon, June  7th.  Three  thousand  people  were  in 
attendance.  The  orator  of  the  day  was  the  Rev. 
John  P.  Donelan,  priest  of  St.  James'  Roman 
"Catholic  church.  Flags  were  at  half  mast,  public 
buildings  were  draped  in  emblems  of  mourning, 
and  from  two  o'clock  until  five  business  was  en- 
tirely suspended. 

On  the  following  Sunday  a  second  memorial 
service  was  held.  Rev.  M.  Schofield,  rector  of 
Emmanuel  Episcopal  church,  preached  in  the  Sec- 
ond Congregational  church,  and  by  request  of 
citizens  his  discourse  was  published  in  the  city 
papers. 

WAR     SERMON.S     P,Y     r.TSHOP    SIMPSON. 

Bishop  Simpson  was  one  of  the  greatest  Amer- 
ican preachers.  His  war  sermons  in  Rockford 
are,  therefore,  a  matter  of  historic  interest.  Sun- 
dav.  June  30,  1861,  the  three  Methodist  churches 
of  the  city  united  in  a  service  in  Metroplitan 
Hall.     Tlie  bishop's  sermon  was  of  great  power. 

In  the  afternoon  a  union  Methodist  meeting 
was  held  in  the  Second  church,  later  known  as 
the  Court  Street  church,  when  Bishop  Simpson 
addressed  the  children.  In  the  evening,  upon  the 
request  of  citizens,  he  preached  an  eloquent  dis- 
course in  the  Second  Congregational  church,  on 
"The  Present  Crisis." 


90 


PAST     AND    TRESEXT    OF    WINXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


KKV.    A.    II.    Cd.V.WT    I'.KCO.MICS   CIlAl'l-Al  \ . 

In  July.  i8<')i.  Rev.  .A.  H.  Conant.  pastor  of 
tlif  L'liitarian  cluircli.  rcsijjiu'd,  and  a  feus  weeks 
later  lie  enlisted  as  a  chaplain  in  the  .Xineteeiith 
Illinois  Infantry.  (  )nly  one  other  citizen  o{  Win- 
nehapi  county  is  known  to  have  entered  the  ser\'- 
ice  with  this  resiuit'nt — Colonel  Thomas  C.  Law- 
der.  r.oth  these  names,  however,  in  the  adjutant- 
.t^eneral's  report,  arc  credited  to  Chica,e;o.  Chap- 
lain Conant  died  at  Xashville.  February  8.  1863. 
His  death  was  due  to  exposure  and  exertion  at 
the  battle  of  Murfrcesboro. 

Till'.   KOCKFOKD   RlFLli.S. 

In  .\us:ust  Melc-uicthon  Smith  issued  a  stirring 
api)eal  for  vohniteers.  quoting  the  last  words  of 
( "icneral  I, yon.  "Come  on.  brave  men!"  Mr. 
.^mith  had  oidy  a  few  months  before  received  the 
appointment  of  jmstmaster  of  Rockford,  and  it 
reeiuired  not  a  little  patriotism  to  leave  this  posi- 
tion for  the  hard.ships  of  war.  Mr.  Smith  had 
been  a  member  of  the  old  Rockford  City  Greys, 
which  had  been  drilled  by  Colonel  Ellsw-orth, 
and  he  was  thus  not  entirely  without  military  ex- 
perience. 

September  17th.  after  the  ranks  had  been  filled, 
an  election  of  officers  was  held,  with  the  follow- 
ing result : 

Captain.  Melancthon  Smith :  first  lieutenant. 
Robert  P.  Sealy :  second  lieutenant.  D.  W.  Grip- 
pen. 

September  22(\  the  company  left  Rockford  for 
Cam|i  W'ashburne.  at  (ialena.  They  were  mus- 
tered into  the  service  as  Company  G,  of  the  For- 
ty-fifth Regiment,  known  as  the  W'ashburne 
Lead-.Mine  Regiment,  in  command  of  Colonel 
John  E.  Smith.  The  total  number  of  enlistments 
in  Company  G  from  Wimiebago  county,  includ- 
ing veterans,  recruits  and  drafted  and  substitute 
recruits,  was  one  hundred  and  twenty-four.  There 
were  on  tlie  field  and  staff  and  in  other  companies 
eightv-seven  volunteers,  making  the  total  num- 
ber of  enlistments  in  the  Forty-fifth  Regiment 
from  Winnebago  county  two  hundred  and  thirty- 
one. 

John  Travis,  a  member  of  the  Rifles,  was  the 
first  solflier  from  Winnebago  county  killed  in 
battle.  Me  lost  his  life  at  the  battle  of  Fort  Don- 
el.son.  in  February.  1862.  There  were  four  com- 
panies from  this  connty  on  that  field  of  carnage 
—the  Rockford  Rifles  and  the  Cherry  X'alley 
com|)any.  in  the  I'orty-fifth  :  the  Zouaves,  in  the 
Eleventh,  and  Captain  P.oyd's  company,  in  the 
Fifty-second. 

W.VSIIlll'RNK   Riri.ES. 

In  September  Rhenodyne  .\.  Piird  organized  a 
comi)any   with  a1)OUt  eighty  members,  and   .Sep- 


tember i;tli  they  left  lor  camp  at  Chicago,  where 
they  became  a  ])art  of  the  Douglas  brigade.  The 
Rifles  were  known  as  Company  C.  of  the  Fifty- 
fifth  Illinois  N'olunteers.  The  total  niunber  of 
enlistments  in  this  com])any  from  Winnebago 
coimty.  including  veterans  and  recruits,  was  one 
hundred  and  seven.  There  was  one  volunteer  in 
Coni])any  D. 

WI  N NF.lt .\r.O    .SH.\RPSIIOnTF.RS. 

In  September.  i8r>i.  Wesley  Pioyd  organized  a 
company.  calKd  the  Winnebago  Shar|)shooters, 
(if  which  he  became  ca])tain.  In  October  the  com- 
pany went  into  cam])  at  Camp  Geneva,  and  be- 
came Company  E.  of  the  Fifty-second  Infantry. 
The  total  number  of  enlistments  in  this  company 
from  this  county,  including  veterans  and  recruits, 
was  ninety-eight.  There  was  oidy  one  volunteer 
in  Company  F.  The  regiment  was  organized  at 
Geneva.  Kane  county,  by  the  Hon.  Isaac  G.  Wil- 
son, who  was  for  many  years  a  judge  upon  the 
circuit  bench. 

CAVALRY    COMPANY. 

.\  s])len(li(l  cavalry  cimiiiany  was  organized  in 
September.  John  Austin,  of  Riickford.  was  cho- 
sen captain;  A.  j.  .Martin,  first  lieutenant;  John 
.\uslin.  of  Ogle  county,  second  lieutenant.  It 
was  known  as  Company  M.  of  the  Eighth  Illinois 
cavalry. 

Winnebago  county  contributed  to  this  com- 
pany, during  the  entire  war  period,  one  hundred 
and  thirteen  volunteers.  Enlistments  in  other 
companies  of  this  regiment,  with  unassigned  re- 
cruits, brought  the  total  number  of  enlistments  in 
this  coimty  to  two  hundred  and  thirteen. 

September  lAth  the  company  went  into  camp 
at  St.  Cliarles.  The  regiment  was  organized  by 
the  Hon.  John  V.  Farnsworth.  who  represented 
the  Rockford   di>trict    in   congress   from    186^   to 

T.  T.  Ilobart  raised  a  companv  in  August,  which 
bi'came  Company  G.  of  the  Fortv-fourth  Infan- 
tr\.  known  as  the  X'orthwestern  Rifles  regiment. 
TJie  number  of  enlistments  in  this  companv  from 
Winnebago  coimty  for  the  entire  war  period,  in- 
cluding recruits,  was  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
four.  There  were  also  in  this  regiment,  on  its 
field  and  stafT,  non-commissioned  staff,  and  re- 
cruits in  Com|)any  F.  ten  volunteers  from  this 
countv.  This  regiment  was  mustered  into  the 
service  in   Sejjtember. 

(HIIFR   VOI.fNTKKRS   OF   'fil. 

In  response  to  apjieals  made  at  war  meetings. 
nianv  attem])ts  were  made,  more  or  less  success- 
ful, to  raise  com|>anies  in  the  various  townshijis 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


91 


of  the  county.  Captain  S.  Whitmeyer  organized 
the  Diirand  Guards,  and  a  company  was  enrolled 
in  Cherry  Valley,  which,  for  some  reason,  was 
not  accepted.  These  volunteers  found  their  way 
into  the  service  as  members  of  other  companies. 

Recruiting  officers  also  secured  volunteers  in 
the  interest  of  various  regiments.  Among  these 
were  Lieutenants  E.  H.  Brown  and  D.  H.  Gile, 
of  Chicago,  who  were  in  Rockford  in  the  interest 
of  Company  A,  of  the  Yates  Phalanx. 

soldiers'  aid  society. 

The  Soldiers'  Aid  Society  was  organized  Au- 
gust 27,  1861.  It  represented  the  different  re- 
ligious organizations  in  the  city,  united  on  the 
broad  ground  of  Christian  patriotism,  to  labor 
with  one  mind  and  heart  for  those  who  had  en- 
listed in  the  service  of  their  country.  The  offi- 
cers were:  Mrs.  Thomas  Kerr,  president;  Airs. 
Jane  Smith,  vice-president;  Miss  Juliette  Wheat, 
secretary;  Miss  Melissa  Aloffat,  treasurer;  Miss 
Anna  P.  Sill,  corresponding  secretary.  A  state- 
ment published  January  4,  1862,  showed  that  a 
great  work  had  been  done  during  the  first  year 
of  the  war. 

COUNTY    W.\R    .\PPR0PRIATIONS. 

January  4,  1862,  H.  R.  Enoch,  the  county 
treasurer,  made  a  public  statement  of  county 
money  expended  for  the  relief  of  the  families  of 
volunteers.  The  total  sum  for  the  preceding 
eight  months,  from  Alay  to  December,  inclusive, 
was  $4,259. 

THE    FIFTEENTH    .\T    THE   BATTLE   OF   SHILOH. 

The  Fifteenth  Regiment  of  Illinois  Volunteer 
Infantry  was  raised  under  the  "ten  regiment  act," 
in  the  First  congressional  district.  Company  A 
was  from  McHenry  county ;  Company  B,  Boone 
county ;  Company  C,  W'innebago  county ;  Com- 
pany D,  McHenry  county ;  Company  G,  Stephen- 
son county  ;  Company  H,  Ogle  county  ;  Company 
I,  Lake  county,  and  Company  K,  from  Carroll 
county.  The  regiment  was  organized  at  Free- 
port,  Illinois,  and  mustered  into  the  LInited  States 
service  on  the  24th  day  of  May,  1861,  being  one 
of  the  first  regiments  from  the  state  sworn  into 
the  Lmited  States  service,  for  the  three  years' 
service.  After  electing  officers,  organizing  and 
drilling  for  some  time,  the  regiment  proceeded 
to  Alton,  Illinois,  remaining  there  six  weeks  for 
instruction.  In  July  the  regiment  left  .\lton  by 
steamboat  for  St.  Charles,  Missouri,  thence  by 
rail  to  Mexico,  Missouri,  where  it  remained  for 
a  time  in  company  with  the  Twenty-first  Illinois 
Infantry,  commanded  by  Colonel  L'.  S.  Grant.  A 
part   of  the   regiment   marched   from   Mexico   to 


Fulton,  and  thence  to  the  Missouri  river,  and 
thence  by  steamer  to  Jefferson  Barracks ;  the 
other  part  of  the  regiment  marched  to  Hannibal, 
Alissonri,  and  thence  by  steamer  to  Jefferson 
1  Sarracks.  The  regiment  then  moved  by  rail  to 
Rolla,  Missouri,  where  it  arrived  in  time  to  cover 
General  Sigel's  retreat  from  Wilson's  Creek. 
After  building  one  or  two  forts,  the  regiment  was 
ordered  to  Tipton,  Missouri,  and  thence  became 
attached  to  General  Fremont's  army,  and  marched 
under  General  Hunter  to  Springfield,  Missouri ; 
after  remaining  there  a  short  time  the  regiment 
returned  to  Tipton,  then  went  to  Sedalia.  It  as- 
sisted in  the  capture  of  1,300  rebels  a  few  miles 
from  the  latter  place.  The  regiment  then  marched 
to  Otterville,  Missouri,  and  went  into  winter 
quarters  December  26,  1861.  The  winter  was 
cold  and  the  snow  deep,  and  the  first  winter's  ex- 
perience in  tents  was  a  very  severe  one. 

February  i,  1861,  the  regiment  marched  to 
Jefferson  Citv,  thence  by  rail  to  St.  Louis,  where 
it  embarked  on  transports  for  Fort  Donelson.  and 
arrived  to  take  part  in  the  surrender.  The  regi- 
ment was  then  assigned  to  General  S.  A.  Hurl- 
but's  "Fighting  Fourth  Division,"  and  marched 
to  Fort  Henry,  then  went  by  boat  to  Pittsburg 
Landing,  it  being  one  of  the  first  regiments  that 
landed  on  that  historic  battle-ground.  At  the  bat- 
tle of  Shiloh,  on  the  6th  of  April,  the  regiment 
was  in  the  first  line  of  battle,  formed  by  Hurl- 
but's  division,  and  was  in  the  brigade  commanded 
by  General  C.  Veach.  Hardly  had  the  brigade 
taken  position,  when  a  Confederate  column, 
massed  three  lines  deep,  deployed  from  the  woods 
on  the  left  front,  and  with  rebel  yell  that  ech- 
oed through  the  surrounding  forest,  charged  on 
in  double-(|uick.  The  Fifteenth  was  flanked  by 
the  Fifty-third  Ohio,  on  the  right.  At  the  first 
fire  of  the  enemy  the  Buckeyes  broke  and  ran,  and 
the  enemv  were  not  only  in  front  of  the  Fifteenth 
Regiment,  but  on  both  flanks  in  a  very  short  time. 
For  more  than  one  hour  the  regiment  held  its  po- 
sition, and  fought  as  gallantly  as  any  troops  could 
fight  in  the  terrible  struggle,  called  by  the  Con- 
federates the  "Hornet's  Nest."  and  disputed  inch 
by  inch  the  advance  and  the  incessant  attacks  of 
the  best  troops  in  the  Confederate  service.  Owing 
to  the  want  of  support,  the  regiment  was  com- 
pelled to  withdraw  and  take  up  a  new  position. 
In  five  minutes  after  the  regiment  formed  its  first 
line,  the  field  officers,  Lieutenant-Colonel  E.  F. 
W.  Ellis  and  Major  William  R.  Goddard,  Cap- 
tains Holden  Brownell  and  Harley  Wayne  and 
Lieutenant  John  W.  Peterbaugh,  were  killed,  and 
Captain  Adam  Nase  lost  a  leg  and  was  taken 
prisoner.  Captain  Thomas  J.  Turner  was  ab- 
sent, and  the  command  of  the  regiment  devolved 
upon  Captain  L.  D.  Kelly  and  George  C.  Rogers, 
assisted  by  Adjutant  Charles  F.  Barber.  As  soon 
as  a  new  line  was   formed    (the  Fourteenth  Illi- 


92 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


nois  on  the  left  of  the  Fifteenth),  wlien  the  ene- 
my had  approached  sufficiently  near,  these  two 
regiments,  actintj  as  one  man,  rose  and  delivered 
a  rapid,  well  aimed  and  awfully  destructive  fire 
full  into  the  massed  ranks  of  the  enemy.  The 
enemy  was  soon  convinced  that  this  was  not  the 
way  to  the  landing:.  .\t  the  second  attack  these 
two  regfiments  received  the  first  shock,  and  for 
three  hours  were  in  that  awful  gap,  without  giv- 
ing ground,  where  the  Confederates  sacrificed 
more  than  two  thousand  as  brave  men  as  ever  trod 
the  battle-field,  in  the  unavailing  efi'nrt  ti>  drive 
them  from  their  position.  This  bajjtism  of  blood 
cemented  the  two  regiments,  and  they  were  al- 
ways afterward  ijrigaded  and  served  together 
during  the  remainder  of  the  war,  and  discharged 
at  the  same  time  and  place.  The  Fifteenth  Regi- 
ment was  in  the  hottest  of  the  fight  both  days  of 
the  bloody  battle,  and  not  a  man  faltered  in  his 
duty  or  failed  to  perform  all  that  was  re(|uircd  of 
him.  The  two  regiments  that  were  in  the  final 
charge  on  the  7th,  led  by  General  Grant  in  per- 
son, were  the  Fourteenth  and  Fifteenth  Illinois; 
the  Fourteenth  commanded  by  Colonel  Cyrus 
Hall,  and  the  [""ifteenth  by  Captain  George  C. 
Rogers.  This  detachment  moved  forward,  and 
when  within  range  delivered  their  fire,  and  with 
fi.xed  bayonets  charged  at  double-quick.  The  rak- 
ing fire,  however,  had  done  its  work.  The  Con- 
federate army  had  fled.  The  Fifteenth  Regiment 
lost  in  this  engagement  two  hundred  and  fifty 
men  killed  and  wounde<l,  and  there  are  more  of 
the  '"known  dead"  of  this  regiment  buried  in  the 
national  cemetery  at  I'ittsburg  Landing  than  of 
any  other  regiment,  and  many  died  of  wounds 
in  ho.spitals  at  home. 

i-i'.\"i:r.\l  of  colonel  lllis. 

Rock  ford's  sorrow  over  the  death  of  Colonel 
Rllis  was  ex|)ressed  in  an  imposing  demonstra- 
tion. His  remains  were  brought  to  the  city  on 
Sunday.  .April  20th.  on  a  si)ecial  train.  On  Mon- 
day they  lay  in  state  at  the  court  house.  The 
room  was  draped  in  the  national  colors,  and  un- 
derneath lay  all  that  was  mortal  of  the  patriot 
hero,  inclosed  in  a  metallic  burial  case,  upon  which 
was  placed  his  sword  and  belt. 

Tlie  funeral  was  held  on  Tuesday  in  the  .Sec- 
ontl  Congregational  church,  the  largest  auditori- 
um then  in  the  city.  Two  thousand  peo|5le  were 
in  attendance.  Rev.  J.  H.  \'incent.  jiastor  of  the 
Court  Street  church,  now  Bishop  Vincent, 
preached  the  funeral  sermon.  His  text  was 
Zachariah,  XIII :  8-9:  ".And  it  shall  come  to  pass 
that  in  all  the  land,  saith  the  Lord,  two  parts 
therein  shall  be  cut  off  and  die ;  but  the  third 
shall  be  left  therein.  .Xnrl  I  will  bring  the  third 
part  through  the  fire,  an<l  I  will  refine  them  as 
silver   is   refined,   and   will    try   them  as   gold   is 


tried  :  they  shall  call  on  my  name,  and  I  will  hear 
liieiii;  I  will  say.  It  is  my  people;  and  they  shall 
say,  the  Lord  is  my  God."  Masonic  services  at 
the  grave  were  in  charge  of  L.  F.  Warner,  mas- 
ter of  Star  in  the  East  lodge. 

Winnebago  county  had  six  companies  in  the 
battle  of  .^hiloh.  Companv  C  lost,  besides  Colonel 
Kllis,  Captain  H.  Brownell,  W.  H.  Brown,  Wil- 
liam Caughey,  J.  E.  \'ance  and  Asabel  Douglas; 
Company  D,  of  the  Eleventh,  lost  Charles  Haw- 
kinson  and  Dennis  Manchester.  Those  killed  in 
Company  G,  of  the  Forty-fifth,  were  Corporal 
Mc.Veilage,  James  Watterson,  Conrad  La  Grange, 
(ieorge  1  lcnr\-.  The  killed  in  Company  E,  of  the 
Fifty-second,  were  Patrick  Cunningham  and 
Charles  P.  Roch.  The  company  was  in  six  en- 
gagements during  the  first  day's  fight.  Com- 
pany C,  of  the  Fifty-fifth,  lost  Lieutenant  Theo. 
Hodges,  Corporal  Daniel  Sullivan.  Sergeant  Mi- 
ron  Ganoung,  Bragella  Crowell.  Nathan  Knapp 
and  O.  Helgerson.  .\11  of  these  companies  suf- 
fered losses  in  wounded.  J.  C.  Manlove.  Jr..  and 
.\ndrcw  Clark,  who  had  entered  Waterhouse's 
Battery,  after  three  months'  service  with  the  Zou- 
aves, were  both  wounded  in  the  shoulder. 

\oi.i-\tei-;rs   roR   tiirke   iroxxHs'   service. 

in  June.  1862,  in  res])onse  to  calls  for  volun- 
teers for  three  months,  two  additional  companies 
were  organized  and  immediately  entered  the 
service  at  Camp  Douglas  in  guarding  Confeder- 
ate prisoners.  One  of  these  companies,  the  Win- 
nebago County  Guards,  was  largely  composed  of 
volunteers  from  the  country  towns,  of  which  H. 
R.  Enoch  was  chosen  caj^tain.  and  James  B.  Kerr 
first  lieutenant.  There  were  one  hundred  and 
four  volunteers  in  this  company,  including  re- 
cruits, of  whom  eighty-three  were  from  \\'inne- 
bago  county.  They  were  known  as  Company  C, 
of  the  Si.xty-seventh  Infantry. 

The  Rockford  City  Guards  entered  this  .serv- 
ice, with  Charles  B.  Mull  as  captain.  The  Guards 
were  known  as  Company  .A.  of  the  Sixty-seventh 
Regiment.  They  are  credited  with  exactly  one 
hundred  men,  of  whom  sixty-three  were  from  this 
county.  There  were  four  soldiers  from  Winne- 
bago on  the  field  and  staff,  and  the  non-commis- 
sioned staff,  and  one  jirivate  each  in  Companies  B 
and  H.  Winnebago  county  contributed  to  this 
regiment  in  the  two  companies  a  total  of  one 
hundred  and  fifty-three  meiL 

These  accessions  made  nine  full  companies 
which  W'innebago  county  had  sent  mto  the  serv- 
ice, besides  many  enlisted  in  other  companies  and 
batteries. 

C.\MP    FULLER. 

July  16,  1862.  .-Xdjutant-General  Fuller  issued 
an  order  establishing  cam])s   for  temporary  ren- 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY." 


93 


dezvous  in  several  cities  of  the  state.  In  the  lat- 
ter part  of  the  month  General  Fuller  visited 
Rockford  and  personally  selected  a  site  north  of 
the  city.  Jason  Marsh  was  placed  in  command, 
who  named  the  camp  in  honor  of  the  man  who 
did  more  than  any  other  citizen  in  making  a 
glorious  military  record  for  the  commonwealth 
of  Illinois.  General  Fuller  was  the  central  fig- 
ure of  the  war  power  of  Illinois ;  the  forger  of 
her  thunderbolts,  the  splendid  defender  of  her 
sons.  General  John  C.  Black  once  said  to  the 
writer  that  General  Fuller  was  a  greater  man 
than  Edwin  M.  Stanton,  President  Lincoln's  great 
war  secretary ;  that  he  had  Stanton's  executive 
ability  without  his  brutality. 

Camp  Fuller  was  a  camp  of  rendezvous  for 
Lake,  McHenry,  Boone,  Winnebago,  Ogle,  Car- 
roll, Stephenson  and  Jo  Daviess  counties.  Four 
regiments  were  in  camp  at  Camp  Fuller — the  Sev- 
enty-fourth, Ninety-second,  Ninety-fifth  and 
Ninet3--sixth.  The  activity  at  this  camp  was 
short-lived.  All  the  regiments  soon  entered  the 
service,  and  January  31,  1863,  the  barracks  were 
sold  at  auction. 

THE    SEVENTY-FOURTH    REGIMENT. 

In  July,  1862,  President  Lincoln  issued  a  call 
for  300,000  volunteers.  In  response  to  war  meet- 
ings held  in  every  township  in  Winnebago  county 
the  military  spirit  became  the  ruling  passion  of 
the  people.  July  31st  the  board  of  supervisors 
met  in  special  session  and  offered  a  bounty  of  $60 
to  each  volunteer  enlisting  before  the  25th  of  Au- 
gust, and  $40  for  all  subsequent  enlistments  pre- 
vious to  September   15th,  next  following. 

Winnebago  county  again  promptly  did  her 
duty,  and  raised  eight  of  the  ten  companies  of  the 
Seventy-fourth  Regiment.  Company  G  was  or- 
ganized in  Ogle  county,  and  Company  I  in  Ste- 
phenson county.  The  regiment  was  mustered 
into  the  service  September  4th. 

The  first  field  otificers  were:  Jason  Alarsh.  of 
Rockford,  colonel :  James  B.  Kerr,  of  Roscoe, 
lieutenant-colonel,  and  Edward  F.  Dutcher,  of 
Oregon,  major.  Anton  Nieman,  of  Chicago,  an  of- 
ficer of  military  education,  was  its  first  adjutant. 
On  September  30,  1862,  the  regiment  reported  for 
duty  at  Louisville,  Ky.,  where  the  Army  of  the 
Ohio,  afterward  known  as  the  Amiy  of  the  Cum- 
berland, was  then  being  organized  under  General 
Don  Carlos  Buell.  On  October  i  a  brigade  or- 
ganization was  effected,  and  the  Seventy-fourth, 
with  the  Seventy-fifth  and  Fifty-ninth  Illinois,  the 
Twenty-second  Indiana,  and  the  Fifth  fPinney's) 
Wisconsin  Battery,  formed  the  Thirtieth  Brigade, 
Ninth  division.  Fourteenth  Corps.  Colonel  Philip 
Sidney  Post,  of  the  Fifty-ninth  Illinois,  had  com- 
mand of  the  brigade.  General  O.  M.  Mitchell  of 
the  division,  and  General  Gilbert  of  the  corps,  the 


whole  comprising,  with  other  troops,  a  command 
under  General  A.  McD.  McCook,  designated  the 
right  wing. 

On  October  24,  1862,  the  army,  then  at  Bowl- 
ing Green,  was  reorganized,  under  General  W. 
S.  Rosecrans,  and  was  afterward  known  as  the 
Army  of  the  Cumberland. 

The  regiment  participated  in  the  following  bat- 
tles :  Perryville,  October  8,  1862  :  Stone  River, 
December  31,  1862:  Mission  Ridge,  November 
24-25,  1863;  Rocky  Face,  May  9,  1864:  Resaca, 
May  14,  1864;  Calhoun,  May  17,  1864;  Adairs- 
ville,  Alay  18,  1864:  Dallas,  May  25  to  June  25, 
1864;  Lost  Mountain,  June  16,  1864;  Kenesaw 
Mountain,  June  27,  1864;  Peach  Tree  Creek, 
July  20,  1864;  Atlanta,  July  22,  1864;  Jonesboro, 
September  i,  1864;  Lovejoy,  September  2,  1864; 
Spring  Hill,  November  29,  1864;  Franklin.  No- 
vember 30,  1864:  Nashville,  December  15-16, 
1864. 

Winnebago  county  contributed  793  volunteers 
to  the  Seventy-fourth.  This  was  almost  exactly 
one-ciuarter  of  the  whole  mmiber  of  recruits 
raised  by  the  county  during  the  four  years  of  the 
war.  This  fact  made  the  regiment  in  a  sense  the 
special  pride  of  the  citizens.  June  10,  1865,  the 
Seventy-fourth,  then  numbering  343  officers  and 
men,  was  mustered  out  of  the  service  at  Nash- 
ville, Tennessee,  and  arrived  in  Rockford  June 
29.  The  veterans  hold  annual  reunions,  but  time 
has  thinned  their  ranks.  In  1903  an  excellent 
history  of  the  Seventy-fourth  Regiment  was  pub- 
lished by  a  committee  consisting  of  John  H.  Sher- 
ratt.  Hosmer  P.  Holland  and  Tohn  \\'.  Beatson. 


DEATH    OF    COLONEL    NEVIUS. 

The  Eleventh  Infantry  took  an  active  part  in 
the  Vicksburg  campaign.  Garrett  L.  Nevius  had 
entered  the  service  as  captain  of  Company  D,  but 
he  rose  rapidly.  He  was  promoted  major,  lieu- 
tenant-colonel and  finally  the  colonel  of  his  regi- 
ment. 

Colonel  Nevius  was  killed  in  the  charge  of 
Ransom's  brigade  on  the  enemy's  works  at  Vicks- 
burg, May  22,  1863,  while  on  foot  at  the  head 
of  his  regiment,  within  ten  rods  of  the  line  of 
entrenchments.  He  was  in  the  act  of  waving  his 
sword  and  urging  his  men  forward,  when  the 
fatal  bullet  struck  him  in  the  head,  crashing 
through  his  brain,  killing  him  instantly.  His 
dving  words  were:  "Forward,  mv  brave  Elev- 
enth !" 

The  colonel's  body  was  recovered  and  placed 
in  charge  of  Captain  W,  D.  E.  Andrus,  who, 
with  a  guard  of  ten  men,  immediately  started  to 
convey  it  to  Rockford.  The  funeral  guard  was 
met  at  the  Illinois  Central  depot  in  Chicago  by 
a   delesration   from   Rockford,   with   Mavor  Wil- 


94 


PAST     AXD    I'RESENT    OF     WIX.XEBAGO    COUNTY. 


liams.  and  escorted  to  tlie  Galena  depot.  The  re- 
mains arrived  in  Rocktord  Wednesday.  Jnne  3, 
1863. 

The  body  lay  in  state  at  the  courthouse,  where 
memorial  services  were  held  on  Thursday.  All 
business  in  the  city  was  suspended.  The  meeting 
was  called  to  order  by  the  war  mayor,  Charles 
Williams.  Dr.  Thomas  Kerr  pronomiced  an  elo- 
i|uent  eulogy.  The  remains  were  taken,  with 
military  escort,  to  the  Northwestern  depot,  and 
forwarded  to  the  home  of  his  mother  at  Lodi, 
Seneca  county.  New  York. 

.\s  a  military  man  Colonel  Nevius  had  won  an 
enviable  rei)utation.  He  ij<issessed  sujierior  abil- 
ities. He  was  careful  of  his  men.  cool,  well  post- 
ed, sound  in  judgment,  and  brave  almost  to  the 
l)oint  of  recklessness.  He  led  his  men  where  duty 
called,  and  they  were  quick  to  follow.  Colonel 
.Nevius  was  naturally  retiring  and  unassuming  in 
private  life,  and  was  not  thus.  perha])s.  so  widely 
known  as  others  of  less  ability  for  leadership. 

Those  who  knew  him  best  learned  to  respect 
him  fi>r  liis  high  moral  character  and  social  worth 
and  all  who  enjoyed  his  ac(|uaintance  will  remem- 
ber him  with  the  liveliest  emotions.  His  charac- 
ter was  one  which  all  will  love  tt>  <lwell  upon, 
and  his  memory  will  be  fresh  in  the  hearts  of  our 
citizens   for  long  years  to  come. 

Colonel  Nevius  was  only  twenty-six  years  of 
age.  He  lived  in  deeds,  and  not  in  years.  Nevius 
post.  No.  I.  C,.  A.  R..  is  named  after  him. 

THE    MULLIG.\N    GU.SRaS. 

^fajor  Patrick  Flynn  was  a  representative  son 
of  Erin,  who  espoused  the  cause  of  his  adopted 
country  with  a  lover's  devotion.  He  fought  her 
battles  with  the  characteristic  ardor  of  his  race. 
He  was  born  in  Mayo,  Ireland.  May  11,  1831. 
He  came  to  Rockford  in  1858.  and  was  engaged 
in  mercantile  business  until  1862,  when  President 
Lincoln  issued  a  call  for  300,(XX)  volunteers. 

Major  Flynn  enlisted  about  300  men  in  Win- 
nebago, Pioone  and  Stephenson  counties.  He  or- 
ganized the  Mulligan  Guards,  named  in  honor  of 
the  famoius  Colonel  James  Mulligan,  nf  the  Twen- 
tv-third  Illinois,  known  as  the  Irish  brigade.  The 
late  Dean  Piutler,  priest  of  St.  James'  Catholic 
church,  of  Rockford,  was  chaplain  of  Mulligan's 
brigade.  Later  the  major's  company  dropped  the 
name  of  Mulligan  Guards  and  was  designated 
as  Comjiany  .\.  Nineteenth  Illinois  N'ohmteer  In- 
fantry, and  assigned  to  the  Fifteenth  Army  Corps. 
There  were  in  this  company  ninety-three  volun- 
teers from  Winnebago  county.  There  were  also 
six  enlistmeiUs  froni  the  coimty  in  other  compa- 
nies of  the  regiment. 

Many  years  after  those  stirring  scenes,  in  No- 
veml)er,  1900.  Major  Flynn  relatcfl  his  exjiericnce 
in  securing  enlistments  in  the  well-known  Mulli- 


gan (iuarcls.  These  were  given  in  a  paper  read 
before  a  campfire  of  Nevius  post.  The  major 
said : 

"On  July  14.  1862,  Charles  L.  Williams,  then 
mayor  of  Rockford  ;  Rev.  J.  P.  Donelan,  pastor  of 
St.  James'  Catholic  church  ;  W.  G.  King.  Judge 
Church,  Hon.  William  Lathrop.  Hon.  Wait  Tal- 
cott.  Dr.  R.  ]'.  Lane  and  Laurence  McDonald 
called  on  me  and  suggested  that  I  assist  in  rais- 
ing an  Irish  company  of  volunteers.  Tlie  idea 
was  not  displeasing  to  me.  but,  having  a  wife, 
I  deemed  it  i)roper  to  first  consult  her  in  reference 
to  the  suggestion.  She  .shared  my  patriotic  feel- 
ings, or.  ratlur.  I  shared  hers,  and  the  result  was 
that  I  soon  entered  heartily  into  the  undertaking. 
( )nly  a  few  remain  of  those  young  men  who 
signed  the  muster  roll  at  that  time.  They  are 
.\ndrew  Phinney,  and  Hugh  McMahon,  of  Rur- 
ritt,  who  was  said  to  be  the  youngest  sergeant  in 
the  brigade.  The  young  Irishmen  of  Rockford  be- 
came enthusiastic  in  the  defense  of  their  country, 
and  in  the  reniarkablv  short  period  of  sixteen  days 
140  men  enlisted.  One  more  name  which  I  was 
anxious  to  add  to  the  list  of  these  young  heroes 
is  that  of  Joseph  P.  Whalen,  of  .\rgyle  township, 
who  especially  tlistinguished  himself  at  the  bat- 
tle of  Missionary  Ridge  on  November  23.  1863. 
He  deserves  special  mention,  being  struck  by 
rebel  bullets  no  less  than  three  times,  and  so  dis- 
abled in  his  limbs  to  this  day  that  his  effort  to 
move  about  is  extremely  painful.  Wo  exnected  to 
be  attached  to  the  Twenty-third  Illinois,  which 
had  achieved  a  brilliant  reputation  in  the  west  and 
in  \"irginia.  and  whose  young  commander  was 
James  .\.  Mulligan.  The  company  was  named 
the  Mulligan  Guards  in  his  honor.  On  Augfiist 
31st  we  were  mustered  into  the  service  of  the 
United  States  at  Camp  Douglas.  Chicago,  and 
became  Companv  .\.  of  the  Ninetieth  Illinois,  of 
which  Colonel  O'Meara  became  the  commanding 
officer.  There  were  also  volunteers  which  I  re- 
cruited in  Company  T.  The  regiment  was  then 
detailed  for  a  time  to  guard  prisoners  at  Camp 
Douglas.  Rumors  were  rife  for  a  time  that  the 
Knights  of  the  Golden  Circle  were  planning  an 
attempt  to  liberate  the  rebel  prisoners  under  our 
care.  The  rumors  were  not  without  foundation, 
though  the  attempt  was  not  made  at  that  time. 
Had  it  been,  the  Ninetieth  would  have  proven  it- 
self loyal  to  the  country  that  sheltered  its  mem- 
bers in  their  exile.  In  those  days  domestic  ene- 
mies, which  were  known  as  co]>perhcads.  were  a 
source  of  much  annoyance.'' 

In  the  same  pajicr  Major  Flvim  vividly  de- 
scribed the  battle  of  Missionary  Ridge.  His  allu- 
sion to  the  death  of  Lieutenant  James  Conway, 
of  Company  A.  breathes  the  fervor  and  eloquence 
of  his  race.  Rare  indeed  is  a  soldier's  death  more 
impressively  told  than  in  these  words : 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


95 


"The  next  morning  the  Fifteenth  Corps  moved 
along  the  valle}-  under  the  Lookout  mountain 
range  toward  Chattanooga.  On  the  morning  of 
the  25th  it  was  in  Hne  for  the  desperate  struggle 
that  day  commemorates  as  the  battle  of  Mission 
Ridge.  The  regiment  lost  its  colonel,  the  brave 
O'Meara ;  its  lieutenant-colonel  was  shot  through 
the  body,  and  Lieutenant  James  Conwav.  of  Com- 
pany A,  of  this  city,  was  shot  through  the  heart. 
WHien  found  after  the  sun  went  down,  he  was 
in  a  kneeling  position,  his  sabre  in  his  right  hand, 
his  revolver  in  his  left,  his  face  to  the  enemy  and 
his  virtuous  eyes  turned  to  heaven,  as  though  ful- 
ly satisfied  of  the  sacred  justness  of  the  cause  for 
which  he  was  yielding  up  his  life,  he  was  anxious 
to  meet  the  benignant  glance  of  his  Creator.  Im- 
pressed with  a  knowledge  of  a  duty  nobly  done, 
this  brave  )'oung  officer  knelt  at  the  shrine  of  in- 
finite mercy,  and  while  the  words  of  hope  were 
yet  warm  upon  his  cjuivering  lips,  his  soul  went 
forth  into  the  presence  of  the  Almighty  Father. 
There  160  out  of  370  heroes  were  beaten  down 
in  the  bloody  rain  of  rebel  bullets.  Being  rank- 
ing officer,  I  took  command  of  the  Nineteenth 
that  day." 

Major  Flynn  served  his  company  as  captain 
from  August,  1862,  until  March,  1863.  when  he 
was  promoted  to  major  and  continued  with  his 
regiment  until  he  was  wounded.  August  28,  1863, 
at  the  battle  of  i\Iissionary  Ridge.  He  was  mus- 
tered out  of  service  in  Jime,  1865. 

During  the  early  part  of  the  war  there  were 
also  eight  enlistments  in  the  Eighth  Infantry, 
twenty  in  the  Forty-sixth,  one  in  the  consolidated 
Forty-seventh,  one  in  the  Forty-eighth,  one  in 
the  Forty-ninth,  thirteen  in  the  Fifty-first,  three 
in  the  Fifty-fourth,  two  in  the  Sixty-ninth,  and 
eight  in  the  Seventy-first. 

There  were  fifty-six  volunteers  in  Batteries  A, 
B.  E,  H  and  I  of  the  First  Regiment  of  light  ar- 
tillery, and  twenty-one  in  the  Second  artillery. 

DEATH    OF   COLONEL   SMITH. 

In  the  month  of  February,  1863,  the  Forty-fifth 
Regiment  moved  with  Grant's  army  on  transports 
down  the  river  from  Alemphis  to  take  part  in  the 
Vicksburg  campaign.  Stops  were  made  at  Lake 
Providence,  Msta  plantation  and  Milliken's  Bend. 
At  I\Iilliken"s  Bend  volunteers  were  called  for  to 
run  the  batteries  with  transports  at  Vicksburg. 
The  entire  regiment,  officers  and  men,  volunteered 
for  this  duty.  Tlie  matter  was  decided  by  mak- 
ing a  detail  of  the  quota  assigned  to  the  Forty- 
fifth.  The  detail  comprised  the  crew  which 
manned  the  steamer  Anglo-Saxon,  and  took  her 
safely  through.  loaded  with  a  full  cargo  of  com- 
missary stores. 

ilay  I,  1863,  found  the  Forty-fifth  on  the  east 
bend    of    the    ^Mississippi    at    Bruinsburg,    below 


N'icksburg,  and  the  same  day  started  with  Gen- 
eral (Grant's  army  on  the  famous  campaign  which 
ended  in  the  capture  of  \'icksburg.  The  regi- 
ment participated  in  all  the  battles  of  the  cam- 
paign, forming  part  of  Logan's  division. 

The  position  of  the  Forty-fifth  during  the  siege 
of  \'icksburg  was  immediately  at  the  White 
House,  on  the  Jackson  road,  in  front  of  the  rebel 
Fort  Hill,  regarded  as  the  key  to  the  fortress. 

The  Forty-fifth  took  part  in  three  charges 
against  the  rebel  works,  on  the  19th  and  22d"of 
May  and  the  25th  of  June.  On  the  22d  Major 
Luther  H.  Cowan  was  instantly  killed.  About  a 
month  was  occupied  in  running  a  gap  and  dig- 
ging a  mine  under  Fort  Hill.  June  25th,  the 
mine  having  been  charged,  the  match  was  ap- 
])lied.  The  Forty-fifth  was  selected  as  the  storm- 
ing party  after  the  breach  should  be  made.  Im- 
mediately after  the  explosion  the  regiment  rushed 
into  the  crater,  but  was  met  with  a  murderous 
fire  l3\-  the  enemy,  who  was  still  protected  by  an 
embankment  of  about  three  feet  in  width,  which 
had  been  thrown  up  by  the  rebels  as  an  inner  line 
in  case  the  outer  works  should  be  demolished. 
The  loss  to  the  Forty-fifth  in  this  charge  was 
eighty-three  ofificers  and  men  killed  and  wounded. 
Among  the  number  were  Melancthon  Smith,  lieu- 
tenant-colonel ;  Leander  B.  Fisk.  major,  and  a 
number  of  non-commissioned  officers  and  men. 
Among  the  wounded  was  Jasper  A.  Maltbv,  col- 
onel of  the  regiment.  It  was  a  bloody  afl'air,  in- 
deed. When  the  city  surrendered,  on  account  of 
its  conspicuous  service  during  the  siege,  bv  order 
of  General  Grant,  the  Forty-fifth  was  given  the 
advance  of  the  L'nion  army  when  it  entered  that 
stronghold,  and  its  flag  was  raised  upon  the  court- 
house by  Colonel  William  F.  Strong,  of  General 
McPherson's  stafi',  to  denote  the  possession  of 
the  city  by  the  Federal  army. 

June  23,  1863.  Colonel  Smith  was  mortally 
wounded  at  the  storming  of  a  fort  at  Vicksburg 
by  General  Logan's  division.  He  lingered  three 
days  in  a  state  of  half-consciousness  and  died 
Sunday  morning,  June  28,  in  the  thirty-sixth  year 
of  his  age.  His  remains  were  brought  to  Rock- 
ford  for  burial.  Funeral  services  were  held  June 
nth  at  the  home  of  his  father-in-law,  John  Ed- 
wards. His  remains  lay  in  state  in  front  of  the 
house.  The  discourse  was  delivered  by  Rev.  F. 
AI.  Holland,  pastor  of  the  Unitarian  church,  of 
which  Colonel  Smith  was  a  member. 

Sunday  afternoon  Dr.  H.  M.  Goodwin 
preached  a  memorial  sermon  in  the  Second  Con- 
gregational church.  Concerning  Colonel  Smith's 
patriotism.  Dr.  Goodwin  said :  "Before  deciding 
to  enter  the  ami}-,  he  made  the  question  a  subject 
of  devout  and  earnest  prayer,  and  the  decision, 
when  made,  was  a  religious  consecration  to  the 
service  of  his  country,  expecting  never  to  return, 
but  to  die  on  the  field  of  battle." 


96 


PAST     AXD     PRESENT    OF     WTXXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


RESUME  OF   RECORD  OF  VOLUNTEERS. 

November  14.  1863,  Rolicrt  Ogrilby  made  an 
abstract  of  the  record  uf  Winiicbago  county  vol- 
imteers  to  that  date.  The  total  niunber  of  en- 
listments was  2,127.  ^^f  tli^"^*-'  47  '^•"^'  ^'^'^"  killed. 
160  died,  86  wounded,  24  wounded  and  died.  49 
wounded  and  discharged.  14  discharged  and  died, 
0  nuistered  out  and  died.  The  total  deaths  to  that 
date  were  254. 

SUPERVISORS    R.MSE    WAR    BOUNTY. 

At  the  regular  session  of  the  supervisors  in 
December,  1863.  the  board  of  super\-isors  raised 
the  bountv  to  $100  for  all  who  would  enlist  be- 
tween December  ist  and  January  5th.  This 
bountv  was  in  the  form  of  a  county  bond  draw- 
ing seven  per  cent,  interest  and  transferable  at 
pleasure. 

The  last  year  of  the  war  drained  the  loyal 
states  of  its  available  militia.  President  Lincoln's 
call  for  500,000  men  in  the  summer  of  1864  was  a 
severe  test  of  loyalty,  but  all  demands  were  met 
by  \\'innebago  county.  September  15th  the 
board  of  super\isors  passed  a  resolution  offering 
a  bounty  of  $300  to  volunteers  in  the  county  who 
had  enlisted  since  September  5th,  or  who  might 
thereafter  enlist.  October  ist  it  was  officially  an- 
nounced that  \\'imiebago  county  was  out  of  the 
draft,  and  that  under  the  last  call  for  volunteers, 
more  than  three  hundred  had  been  raised. 

Winnebago  county  contributed  3,187  .soldiers 
to  the  volunteer  sen-ice  of  the  Union  during  the 
Civil  war.  This  was  twenty-five  more  than  its 
quota. 

PRISONERS    OF    W.\R. 

The  adjutant-general's  report  devotes  fifteen 
full  pages  to  the  list  of  Illinois  soldiers  who  died  in 
Andersonville  prison.  Among  diose  who  sur- 
vived the  horrors  of  that  prison  pen  from  this 
county  were  Captain  Lewis  F.  Lake,  a  member 
of  Taylor's  Battery,  who  had  l>een  captured  at 
the  battle  of  Atlanta;  Lieutenant  Andrew  Phin- 
ney  and  Roger  Brown.  The  late  Dr.  Selwyn 
Clark  and  Dr.  Ginton  Helm  were  confined  in 
Libby  prison.  H.  C.  Scovill,  the  present  city 
clerk,  was  a  prisoner  ten  months  at  Macon,  Geor- 
gia. He  enlisted  in  an  Ogle  county  company. 
William  L.  Mesick,  of  Company  E,  First  Illinois 
Light  .\rtillery,  a  Rockford  boy,  was  left  on  the 
field  of  Guntown,  Mississippi,  for  dead,  and  aft- 
erward turned  up  at  Andersonville  prison.  His 
funeral  sermon  was  preached  in  Rockford.  He 
recovered  his  health  in  a  measure,  and  lived 
more  than  thirty  years. 

MRS.    M.\RV     BRAINARD,    ARMY    NURSE. 

Mrs.  Mar>-  Brainard  saw  the  hard  side  of  the 
war  life,  and  worked  many  a  long  night  over 


the  dying  soldiers,  and  writing  the  last  letters 
iiome  for  those  who  were  too  weak  to  do  it  for 
themselves.  Mrs.  Brainard  left  Rockford  in  Sep- 
temljer  of  1862,  going  with  the  Seventy-fourth 
Illinois  volunteers  as  a  nurse  under  Colonel 
Marsh.  In  a  short  time  she  was  made  nurse  and 
head  matron  of  the  hospital  at  Lebanon,  Ken- 
tucky, where  she  sjient  the  winter,  and  then  go- 
ing to  the  hos])ital  at  Lewisvillc  as  head  nurse 
and  matron.  She  spent  the  summer  there  in 
charge  of  the  officers'  hospital,  but  during  the 
fall  she  was  taken  seriously  sick  with  malarial 
fever  and  was  sent  north.  During  the  time  of 
her  nursing  she  was  not  under  sanitarj-  commis- 
sion, as  were  most  of  the  nurses,  but  was  in  the 
government  employ.  Because  of  her  faithful 
work  she  was  awarded  a  ])ension  by  a  special  act 
of  congress.  Mrs.  Brainard  died  suddenly  Octo- 
ber 7,  1905. 

CHRISTIAN  COMMISSION. 

The  late  Dr.  Thomas  Kerr  was  for  a  time  a 
member  of  the  Christian  commission,  under  ap- 
pointment of  President  Lincoln.  After  his  re- 
turn from  the  field  he  delivered  a  number  of  lec- 
tures, the  ])roceeds  of  which  were  devoted  to  the 
war  relief  fund. 

THE    NAVAL   SERVICE. 

'J"hc  county  contributed  a  few  volunteers  to  the 
naval  service.  \'olney  D.  W'oodruff,  John  L. 
Clark.  George  Potter,  and  John  A.  Ferguson 
were  members  of  the  West  Gulf  Blockading 
squadron.  John  McDermaid,  now  a  resident  of 
Rockford.  but  who  enlisted  in  an  eastern  state, 
enjoys  the  distinction  of  having  been  a  partici- 
pant in  the  engagement  in  which  the  Confederate 
ram  .\lbcmarle  was  destroyed.  This  unique  his- 
toric event  occurred  October  27.  1864.  on 
Roanoke  river,  in  North  Carolina,  by  a  detail  of 
twelve  men,  under  command  of  Col.  Cushing. 

SENT  ELEVEN  SONS  TO  WAR. 

The  story  of  Mrs.  H.  B.  Merchant's  devotion 
to  her  country  is  probably  without  parallel.  Her 
husband  had  died  several  years  before  and  she 
was  dependent  for  support  upon  her  eleven  sons. 
When  the  war  broke  out  she  bade  the  elder  ones 
farewell  and  they  went  away.  As  the  need  for 
men  grew  greater  the  younger  ones  enlisted  until 
finally  all  of  the  eleven  were  fighting  for  the  stars 
and  stripes.  The  brothers  in  the  war  and  the  com- 
mands in  which  thev  enlisted  were :  G.  W. 
Merchant,  Co.  C,  74th'lll.  Vol. :  A.  L.  Merchant, 
Co.  C,  15th  111.  Vol.;  Enoch  Merchant,  Co.  F, 
156th  111.  Vol.;  D.  O.  Merchant,  Co.  C,  74th  111. 
\'ol. ;  S.  B.  Merchant,  Co.  G,  44th  111.  Vol. ;  A. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


97 


J.  Merchant,  Co.  G,  44th  111.  Vol.;  L.  E.  Mer- 
chant, Co.  G,  45th  111.  Vol. ;  Aaron  Merchant,  Co. 
G,  isth  Wis.  Vol.;  N.  W.  Merchant,  United 
States  Cavalry ;  J.  C.  Merchant,  teamster  in  quar- 
ter-master's department.  Each  of  the  brothers 
who  sur\'ived  received  an  honorable  discharge. 

THE  COST  OF  THE  W.\R. 

January  i,  1866,  Adjutant-General  Haynie 
issued  a  circular  letter  to  the  authorities  of  each 
county  in  the  state,  requesting-  a  statement  of  the 
amount  of  money  paid  by  counties,  cities  and  vil- 
lages. Winnebago  county  contributed  $434, 
038.25.  The  several  townships  and  the  city  of 
Rockford  raised  $65,964.13.  These  sums  make 
a  grand  total  of  $500,002.38.  This  amount  was 
expended  for  bounties,  transportation,  subsistence, 
general  expenses,  soldiers'  families  and  interest. 

END  OF   WAR   STORV. 

The  writer  is  deeply  conscious  of  the  fact  that 
this  sketch  is  not  an  adequate  history  of  the  part 
borne  bv  Winnebago  county  in  the  great  civil 
conflict.  Such  an  undertaking  would  require  a 
volume  in  itself.  After  the  admission  has  been 
made,  however,  this  history  may  still  modestly 
claim  to  be  th'e  most  complete  that  has  appeared 
to  date.  It  is  hoped  that  in  time  to  come  some 
historian  may  tell  the  story  in  full  as  it  is 
worthy  to  be  told. 

NEVIUS    POST    G.    A.    R. 

Nevius  post,  G.  A.  R.,  is  one  of  the  oldest 
posts  in  the  United  States.  For  some  years  there 
was  much  discussion  over  the  question  of  pri- 
ority of  organization  of  the  Wisconsin  and  the 
Illinois  departments,  and  this  honor  has  finally 
been  decided  in  favor  of  the  latter.  The  Rock- 
ford  post  was  mustered  into  the  order  June  i, 
1866,  by  General  Stephen  A.  Hurlbut,  as  No. 
124,  although  the  charter  bears  the  date  of  Oc- 
tober 3d.  following.  All  previously  organized 
posts  in  Illinois  were  disbanded,  so  that  the  Rock- 
ford  post  succeeded  to  priority.  The  present 
membership  is  about  four  hundred,  in  round  num- 
bers. 

Nevius  post  has  been  able  to  secure,  during  the 
thirtv-nine  rears  of  its  histon,-,  some  of  the  best 
orators  in  the  country,  for  Memorial  day  oc- 
casions. Among  these  are :  Gen.  John  A.  Logan, 
Gen.  John  L.  Beveridge,  Gen.  Smith  D.  Atkins, 
Gen.  Allen  C.  Fuller,  Gen.  A.  L.  Chetlain,  Ex- 
Secretary  of  War  Belknap,  Bishop  Samuel  Fal- 
lows, Col.  James  A.  Sexton,  Col.  Frank  A.  Rid- 
dle. Col.  W.  P.  Hepburn,  Commander-in-Chief 
John  R.  Rea,  Gov.  Chamberlain  of  Vermont,  W. 
J.  Calhoun. 
7 


The  post  was  named  in  honor  of  Colonel  Gar- 
rett L.  Nevius,  who  was  killed  during  the  siege 
of  Vicksburg.  Only  two  charter  members  are 
known  to  be  living :  J.  G.  Manlove  and  Evans 
Blake.  The  annual  encampment  of  the  Depart- 
ment of  Illinois  has  been  held  four  times  in  Rock- 
ford.     The  last  two  dates  were  1894  and  1905. 

Col.  Thomas  G.  Lawler  has  served  the  post  the 
greater  part  of  its  history  as  commander.  Be- 
ginning with  July,  1868,  he  served  five  terms  of 
six  months  each.  In  1872  he  was  elected  for  the 
term  of  one  year  and  has  held  the  office  thirty- 
three  consecutive  years.  Col.  Lawler  was  elected 
commander-in-chief  of  the  national  Grand  Army 
organization  in  1894. 

FAMOUS  INVITATION  TO  JEFFERSON  DAVIS. 

July  I,  1875,  Mr.  Henry  P.  Kimball,  the  sec- 
retary of  the  Winnebago  Count}'  Agricultural 
society  for  seventeen  years,  by  the  authority  of 
the  board  of  directors,  extended  an  invitation  to 
Jefferson  Davis  to  be  present  at  the  annual  exhi- 
bition in  September,  and  deliver  an  address.  This 
invitation  and  its  acceptance  stirred  up  such  a 
furore  of  excitement  among  the  people  of  north- 
ern Illinois  as  to  induce  Mr.  Davis  to  withdraw 
his  acceptance.  The  correspondence  thus  neces- 
sitated became  a  matter  of  national  notoriety. 

In  the  time  of  the  Indian  troubles  through  this 
section  of  the  country  Jefferson  Davis,  with 
others,  helped  subdue  them.  Later,  however,  he 
became  the  representative  man  and  leader  in  the 
attempt  to  establish  an  independent  confederacy 
out  of  the  slave  states,  and,  although  unsuccess- 
ful, the  horrors  of  the  war  that  followed  were  not 
forgotten. 

When  his  promised  attendance  was  announced, 
the  memories  of  war  times  were  kindled  anew 
in  the  loyal  heart,  and  a  cry  of  opposition  was 
raised  that  was  soon  borne  to  the  ears  of  the 
Confederate  chieftain,  giving  him  to  understand 
that  his  presence  would  be  offensive  almost  be- 
yond toleration.  In  giving  shape  to  this  opposi- 
tion the  G.  L.  Nevius  post,  G.  A.  R.,  of  Rock- 
ford,  was  the  first  to  move,  and  caused  to  be  is- 
sued the  following  protest : 

"Whereas :  We  learn,  with  regret,  that  Jef- 
ferson Davis  has  been  invited  by  the  board  of 
directors  of  the  Winnebago  Agricultural  society 
to  deliver  the  annual  address  at  our  county  fair ; 
and  whereas,  we  look  upon  it  as  an  insult  to  the 
loyal  citizens  of  Winnebago  county  to  invite  the 
arch-traitor,  Jefferson  Davis,  to  address  the  rela- 
tives and  surviving  friends  of  thirteen  thousand 
men  murdered  at  Andersonville  alone,  by  his 
orders. 

"Resolved.  That  while  as  an  organization  we 
have  nothing  to  do  with  politics,  yet,  as  loyal 
citizens  and  former  soldiers,  we  feel  it  our  duty 


i)» 


I'AST     AXn     I'RESKXT     OF     \VIX"\i:i'..\(  ,0     LOLXTV. 


to  speak  in  behalf  of  the  memory  of  our  fellow- 
comrades,  who  arc  no  lonsjcr  able  to  speak  for 
tlieiiiselves. 

"Second.  That  we  protest  as^ainst  the  action  of 
the  board  of  directors,  and  jiledge  onrselves  that 
we  will  not  attend  the  fair,  nor  contribute  any- 
thing;- toward  makinjj  it  a  success,  if  tiie  board 
of  directors  persist  in  bringing-  forward  this  arch- 
traitor  and  cow-ard. 

'Third.  That  the.se  resolutions  be  signed  b\ 
the  members  of  this  post,  and  published  in  the 
county   papers." 

This  protest  was  signed  by  one  hundred  and 
twenty-six  members  of  the  post,  and  a  jsrinted 
copy  thereof  forwarded  to  Mr.  Davis,  upon  the 
receipt  of  which  he  atldressed  to  Mr.  Kimball  his 
letter  of  declination,  under  date  of  Augu.st   i.sUi. 

THE   FAI.I,  or  -niE  COURTHOUSE. 

In  1S75  the  board  of  supervisors  took  pre- 
liminary steps  toward  the  erection  of  a  new- 
courthouse.  Henry  L.  Gay  was  the  architect, 
and  W.  D.  Richardson  the  contractor.  The  cor- 
ner-stone was  laid  June  23.  1876.  May  11,  1877, 
occurred  the  greatest  disaster  in  the  history  of  the 
city,  known  as  the  "fall  of  the  courthouse."  All 
but  a  portion  of  the  front  pediment  of  the  main 
central  tow-er.  or  dome,  had  fallen  straight 
through  the  middle  of  the  building,  crushing  in 
its  descent  much  of  the  inside  work  of  the  struc- 
ture. Seven  men  were  killed  outright,  and  several 
others  severely  wounded,  two  of  whom  died  be- 
fore the  coroner's  jury  had  completed  its  inc|uest. 

Those  who  w-ere  killed  outright  were  Fred 
Hang,  -A.  Hollenbcck.  John  Warren.  .\.  Ilaug. 
John  Pipe,  George  (iloss.  Timothy  I-'lannigan. 

The  w-ounded  were  .\ugust  Lucas.  Thomas 
Hayes.  William  McTnnis.  John  Peck.  George 
Smith.  Hugh  Eldredge.  Cicero  Dickerson,  Hen- 
drez  rieldahl.  Isaac  Donnelly.  John  Donaldson. 
I'rank  Harris,  and  a  man  named  Lindholm.  John 
Peck  and  Lindholm  died  from  their  injuries. 

.\  coroner's  jury  made  careful  examination  into 
the  cause  of  the  disaster.  The  jury  w-as  composed 
of  Selden  M.  Giurch,  H.  W.  Carpenter.  George 
S.  Haskell.  Jolm  R.  Porter.  G.  A.  Sanford.  J.  P.. 
Howell.  Thomas  lUitterw-orth.  George  Wilson,  J. 
W.  Seccomb.  D.  L.  Emerstm.  Wm.  H.  Smith.  .\. 
G.  Lowry. 

The  jury  found  that  the  disaster  was  caused 
first  by  the  neglect  of  Henry  L.  Gay.  the  archi- 
tect, to  provide  for  the  great  amount  of  weight 
called  for  to  com|)lete  the  building  according  to 
the  plans  designed  by  him  ;  second,  want  of  care 
on  the  part  of  said  architect  in  not  giving  special 
sjiccifications  and  ])lans  for  tlie  parts  of  the  gen- 
eral i)lan  required  to  carry  the  extra  weight,  in 
proportion  to  their  su]>erfices ;  third,  the  board  of 


supervisors  failed  to  use  due  caution  in  exaniin- 
ing  the  plans  and  specifications,  and  in  not  em- 
])loying  a  competent  architect. 

Work  was  at  once  resumed,  and  the  courthouse 
was  completed  in  1878.  at  a  total  cost  of  $21  i.ocx). 

THE  RIFLES  AND  THE  GREYS. 

During  the  interval  between  the  Civil  and  the 
Spanish  wars  there  were  tw-o  local  militia  com- 
jianies  which  brought  much  fame  to  the  Forest 
City.  They  w-ere  the  Rifles  and  the  Greys.  The 
former.  Com])any  K.  was  organized  in  1876.  and 
the  latter.  Company  H.  six  years  afterwards.  The 
Rifles  early  in  their  career,  through  their  pro- 
ficiency in  drill  and  military  standing,  achieved  a 
fame  by  no  means  confined  to  Illinois  alone. 

One  year  after  their  organization  the  Rifles  .saw 
their  first  military  .service.  This  was  during  the 
Rraidw-ood  riot.  In  1893  with  the  Greys  it 
served  in  a  similar  cajiacity. 

The  history  of  Comi)any  K  dates  from  July. 
1S76,  when  the  governor's  guard  of  .S])ringfield 
visited  Rockford.  on  the  occasion  of  the  laying 
of  the  courthouse  corner-stone.  So  favorable 
was  the  impression  made  by  the  visitors  that  a 
call  for  a  similar  independent  military  organiza- 
tion w-as  issued  at  once.  The  first  meeting  for 
organization  was  held  July  22d.  in  (t.  ,\.  R.  hall. 
John  C.  Garver  w-as  chairman.  C.  M.  P>razee 
was  elected  captain  :  George  .\.  Silsby.  first  lieu- 
tenant:  and  II.  X.  Starr,  second  lieutenant. 
Thomas  G.  Lawler  was  elected  drill-master  and 
at  the  third  meeting  there  were  114  men  in  line. 

In  the  following  year  the  state  legislature 
passed  a  law-  jiroviding  for  an  enlisted  militia. 
The  Rifles  promptly  enlisted,  and  became  Com- 
])any  P..  of  the  Third  regiment,  .\fter  a  brief 
service  in  the  P)raidw-ood  riots  the  comjiany  de- 
cided to  give  attention  to  competitive  drills,  and 
in  the  autumn  of  that  year  defeated  the  .Aurora 
Light  Guard. 

In  1879  the  conijiany  participated  in  the  great 
military  encam])ment  and  prize  contest  at  St. 
Louis  in  the  month  of  Octolier.  On  the  w-ay  it 
stopi)ed  at  Springfield  and  particijiatcd  in  a  drill, 
in  which  it  was  defeated  by  the  Moline  troops,  the 
decision  of  the  judges  creating  dissatisfaction 
among  the  spectators.  At  St.  Louis  the  Rifles 
secured  fourth  honors  among  sixteen  entries,  the 
Chickasaw  (niards  being  first.  Company  P>.  First 
infantrv.  Chicago,  second:  and  a  St.  Louis  com- 
pany third. 

In  the  month  of  October  the  company  made 
its  famous  southern  trip  to  participate  in  the  mili- 
tary encampment  at  .\tlanta.  Its  journey  going 
and  returning  was  marked  by  ovations.  The 
Forest  City  band  played  "Dixie"  and  the  w-arm- 
hearted  southerners  immediately  took  the  Rock- 
ford  bovs  to  their  hearts. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


99 


The  Gre_vs  were  mustered  into  service  Decem- 
ber 28,  1882,  by  Major  Henry  N.  Starr.  George 
F.  Adams  was  the  original  captain ;  Fred  C. 
Pierce,  first  lieutenant  and  Donald  Tolmie,  sec- 
ond lieutenant.  Captain  Adams  resigned  the  fol- 
lowing year,  and  was  succeeded  bv  Fred  Pierce. 
He  in  turn  was  succeeded  by  William  G.  Dustin. 
William  C.  Wildt  was  elected  captain  in  1886. 
When  the  latter  moved  up  to  the  major's  position 
Fred  N.  Drake  was  elected  captain.  He  resigned 
March  27,  1893,  and  was  succeeded  by  First  Lieu- 
tenant William  C.  Brogunier. 

Both  companies  have  made  history  that  has  re- 
flected credit  upon  Winnebago  county. 

rockford's  representatives  in  congress. 

The  several  congressional  districts,  of  which 
^^'inncbago  county  has  successively  formed  a  part, 
have  been  represented  in  congress  by  able  gentle- 
men. .Several  were  statesmen  and  specialists  of 
national  and  even  international  reputation.  In 
order  to  make  the  record  complete  a  paragraph 
must  be  devoted  to  the  territorial  organization  of 
Illinois. 

Previous  to  1818,  when  Illinois  became  a  state, 
the  territory  was  represented  in  congress  suc- 
cessively by  three  delegates.  Shadrach  Bond 
served  from  December  3,  1812.  until  October  3, 
1 814.  Benjamin  Stephenson  succeeded  Bond, 
and  served  from  November  14,  1814,  until  April 
29,  1 816.  Nathaniel  Pope  entered  congress  De- 
cember 2,  1816,  as  the  last  territorial  delegate, 
and  remained  until  Illinois  became  a  state  in 
March,  1818. 

From  1818  until  1832,  the  state  of  Illinois  con- 
stituted one  congressional  district.  Daniel  P. 
Cook  was  its  first  representative  in  congress,  and 
served  from  1818  to  1827.  Joseph  Duncan  suc- 
ceeded and  held  his  seat  until  1833. 

The  first  apportionment  proper  was  made  in 
183 1.  The  state  was  divided  into  three  districts. 
Tlie  Third  included  the  northern  half  of  the  state, 
and  was  represented  successively  by  three  con- 
gressmen. Joseph  Duncan  was  elected  in  1832. 
He  resigned  and  Wm.  L.  May,  of  Springfield,  was 
elected  to  complete  the  term.  May  was  re-elected 
as  a  democrat  in  1834  and  1836.  The  latter  year 
was  the  first  in  which  Winnebago  county  voted 
at  a  congressional  election.  John  T.  Stuart,  sub- 
sequently a  law  partner  of  Abraham  Lincoln,  was 
elected  in  1838  over  Stephen  A.  Douglas,  and  was 
re-elected  in  1840.  Lender  the  apportionment  of 
1843,  Joseph  P.  Hogue.  of  Galena,  was  elected  as 
a  democrat  for  the  new  Rockford  district,  and 
re-elected  in  1844,  defeating  Martin  P.  Sweet,  of 
Freeport.  In  1846  Thomas  J.  Turner,  of  Free- 
port,  was  elected  and  served  one  term  as  a 
democrat.  By  the  year  1848  the  whigs  had  again 
come  into  power,  and  the  famous  Colonel  Ed- 
ward D.  Baker  was  elected. 


Colonel  Baker  was  born  in  London,  England, 
February  24,  181 1.  He  came  to  the  United 
States  at  the  age  of  five  years,  with  his  father, 
who  died  in  Philadelphia.  The  son  removed  to 
Springfield,  Illinois.  He  rose  rapidly  to  distinc- 
tion, and  in  1844  he  was  elected  a  member  of 
congress.  He  served  his  adopted  country  with 
signal  ability  in  the  Mexican  war ;  and  upon  his 
return  to  Illinois  he  settled  at  Galena.  After  serv- 
ing one  term  in  congress  he  settled  in  San  Fran- 
cisco, California,  in  1852.  Colonel  Baker  was  a 
brilliant  orator.  His  speech  on  the  death  of  Sen- 
ator Broderick,  of  California,  who  fell  in  a  duel 
with  Judge  Terry,  in  1859,  is  one  of  the  master- 
pieces of  American  oratory.  For  an  hour  the 
homage  of  tears  was  paid  to  Baker's  genius  and 
to  Broderick's  memory.  His  closing  words  are 
remarkable  for  their  pathos :  "The  last  word 
must  be  spoken,  and  the  imperious  mandate  of 
death  must  be  fulfilled.  Thus,  O  brave  heart ! 
we  lay  thee  to  thy  rest.  Thus,  surrounded  by  tens 
of  thousands,  we  leave  thee  to  thy  equal  grave. 
As  in  life  no  other  voice  among  us  so  rang  its 
trumpet  blast  upon  the  ears  of  freeman,  so  in 
death  its  echoes  will  reverberate  amidst  our 
mountains  and  our  valleys  until  truth  and  valor 
cease  to  appeal  to  the  human  heart.  Good 
friend !  true  hero !  hail  and  farewell !" 

Colonel  Baker  was  subsequently  elected  L^nited 
States  senator  from  Oregon.  His  debate  with 
Breckenridge  in  the  senate  in  1861  attracted  na- 
tional attention.  "In  the  history  of  the  senate," 
says  Mr.  Blaine,  "no  more  thrilling  speech  was 
ever  delivered.  The  striking  appearance  of  the 
speaker,  in  the  uniform  of  a  soldier,  his  superb 
voice,  his  graceful  manner,  all  united  to  give  to 
the  occasion  an  extraordinary  interest,  and  at- 
traction." Colonel  Baker  left  his  seat  in  the 
senate  and  entered  military  service.  He  was  killed 
while  commanding  a  brigade  at  the  battle  of  Ball's 
Bluff,  October  21.  1861. 

Col.  Baker  was  succeeded  in  1850  by  Thomp- 
son Campbell,  of  Galena,  as  a  democrat,  who 
served  one  term. 

Lender  the  apportionment  of  1852  the  state  was 
divided  into  nine  districts.  Elihu  B.  Washburne 
served  the  entire  period  of  ten  years  during  which 
this  apportionment  continued.  Mr.  Washburne 
was  first  elected  as  a  whig ;  his  subsequent  elec- 
tions were  as  a  republican. 

Elihu  Benjamin  Washburne  was  a  member  of 
the  celebrated  \\^ashburne  family.  He  was  born 
in  Livermore,  Elaine.  September  23,  1816.  In 
1839  he  entered  the  Harvard  law  school.  Among 
his  classmates  were  Richard  H.  Dana  and  Wil- 
liam M.  Evarts.  He  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in 
1840,  and  at  once  settled  at  Galena,  Illinois,  and 
entered  into  partnership  in  the  practice  of  law 
with  Charles  S.  Hempstead,  one  of  the  incorpor- 
ators of  Rockford  female  seminary.     Mr.  Wash- 


^ 


lOO 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


bume  remained  in  congress  from  1853  until 
March  6,  1869.  From  this  long-  and  honorable 
serv'ice  he  was  familiarly  known  as  the  "Father 
of  the  House,"  and  in  that  capacity  he  adminis- 
tered the  oath  as  speaker  to  Schuyler  Colfax  three 
times,  and  once  to  James  G.  Blaine.  By  reason  of 
his  insistence  that  the  finances  of  the  government 
should  be  administered  with  the  strictest  economy, 
Mr.  Washburne  was  called  the  "Watch-dog  of 
the  Treasury."  Mr.  \\'ashburne  called  the  at- 
tention of  Governor  Yates  to  his  townsman, 
Ulysses  S.  Grant,  who  wished  to  enter  military 
sen'ice.  When  the  hero  of  the  Civil  war  became 
president,  he  honored  his  old  friend  with  the  ap- 
pointment of  secretary  of  state,  and  later  made 
him  minister  to  France.  This  position  he  held 
(luring  the  Franco-Prussian  war.  At  the  request 
of  Bismarck,  and  with  the  permission  of  the 
French  minister  of  foreign  affairs.  Mr.  W'ash- 
burne  exercised  his  official  influence  for  the  pro- 
tection of  the  Germans  in  Paris.  When  the  em- 
pire was  overthrown,  Mr.  Washburne  was  the 
first  foreign  rejiresentative  to  recognize  the  new 
republic.  He  remained  in  Paris  during  the  siege, 
and  was  at  his  j)ost  when  the  commune  ruled  the 
city.  Tile  emperor  of  Germany  recognized  his 
services  by  conferring  ui)on  him  the  Order  of 
the  Red  Eagle.  He  declined  this  honor  because 
a  provision  of  the  constitution  of  the  United 
States  prohibited  it.  Upon  Mr.  \\'ashburne's 
resignation  in  1877,  the  emperor  sent  him  his  life- 
size  portrait:  and  he  was  similarly  honored  by 
Bismarck,  Theirs  and  Gambetta.  Mr.  W^ash- 
burne  died  in  Chicago  October  22.  1887. 

The  apportionment  of  1861  divided  the  state 
into  thirteen  districts.  Winnebago  county  formed 
a  part  of  the  Second  district,  and  General  John  F. 
Farnsworth  represented  the  district  during  the 
full  ten  years. 

In  1872  the  state  was  divided  into  nineteen 
districts,  and  Winnebago  formed  a  part  of  the 
Fourth.  General  Steiihen  .\.  Hurlbut,  of  Belvi- 
dere,  was  elected,  over  lion.  S.  G.  Bronson,  then 
of  Rockford.  Gen.  Hurlbut  was  re-elected  over 
Gen.  Farnsworth  in  1874. 

Stephen  .\.  Flurlbut  was  born  in  Giarleston. 
South  Carolina,  in  1815.  and  settled  in 
Belvidere  in  1845.  He  was  the  son  of  a 
Unitarian  clergyman,  and  a  brother  of  Wil- 
liam Henry  Hurlbut,  for  many  years  editor- 
in-chief  of  the  New  York  World.  He  was 
commissioned  a  brigadier-general  in  1861,  com- 
manded the  Fourth  division  at  the  battle  of 
Shiloh,  and  for  that  service  he  was  promoted  to 
the  rank  of  major-general,  and  assigned  to  the 
command  of  the  department  of  the  gulf.  General 
Hurlbut  was  the  first  commander-in-chief  of  the 
Grand  .'\rmy  of  the  Rqiublic ;  was  appointed 
minister-resident  to  the  United  States  of  Colom- 
bia bv  President  Grant.    In  1881  General  Hurlbut 


was  appointed  United  States  minister  to  Peru, 
and  died  at  Lima  in  the  spring  of  the  following 
year.  .Abraham  Lincoln  once  said  that  .^tejjhen 
.\.  Ilurlinit  was  the  ablest  orator  on  the  stump 
that  Illinois  had  ever  produced. 

Hon.  William  Lathrop  was  elected  in  1876, 
and  served  one  term.  He  is  the  only  citizen  of 
R(5ckford  who  ever  held  a  seat  in  congress. 

John  C.  Sherwin,  of  .Aurora,  was  elected  in 
1878,  and  re-elected  in  1880. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1882  Winnebago  was 
attached  to  the  Sixth  district  and  Hon.  Robert  R. 
Hitt  was  its  representative  for  ten  years.  In 
1893  Winnebago  became  a  part  of  the  Ninth  dis- 
trict, and  Mr.  Hitt  also  sen-ed  this  district  ten 
years. 

Congressman  Hitt  was  born  at  Urbana,  Ohio, 
January  16,  1834,  and  moved  to  Ogle  county, 
Illinois,  in  1837.  His  first  public  work  of  note 
was  the  stenographic  report  of  the  famous  Lincoln 
and  Douglas  debates  in  1858.  He  was  first 
United  States  secretary  of  legation  and  charge  d' 
affaires  ad  interim,  at  Paris,  from  1874  to  1881. 
^Ir.  Hitt  was  assistant  secretary  of  .state  of  the 
United  States  in  1881.  when  James  G.  Blaine  was 
at  the  head  of  the  state  department. 

Mr.  Hitt's  continuous  service  of  twenty-three 
years  in  the  house  has  given  him  a  national  repu- 
tation. Fie  has  for  several  years  been  chairman 
of  the  committee  on  foreign  affairs,  and  is  con- 
sidered one  of  the  best  authorities  in  this  coun- 
try- on  international  law.  In  July,  1898.  he  was 
appointed  by  President  McKinley.  a  member  of 
the  commission  to  establish  a  government  for 
Hawaii,  upon  its  annexation  to  the  L'nited  States. 

Edward  D.  Baker,  E.  B.  Washburne,  John  F. 
Farnsworth.  Stephen  A.  Hurlbut  and  Robert  R. 
Hitt  were  men  of  national  reputation  who  have 
served  the  several  districts  in  which  Rockford  has 
from  time  to  time  been  located.  This  record  is 
scarcely  less  notable  than  that  of  the  old  Western 
Reser\'e  district  in  Ohio,  which  was  represented 
by  Elisha  ^^^^ittlesey.  Joshua  R.  Giddings  and 
James  A.  Garfield,  who.se  terms  aggregated  fifty- 
one  years. 

The  apportionment  of  1901  made  Winnebago 
county  a  part  of  the  Twelfth  district.  Judge 
Charles  E.  Fuller,  of  Belvidere,  was  nominated  in 
1902,  without  opposition,  and  elected.  He  was 
also  renominated  in  1904  by  acclamation,  and  re- 
elected. 

Rockford  has  not  been  represented  in  congress 
by  a  democrat  in  fifty-one  years,  since  the  re- 
tirement of  Thompson  Campbell  in  1853. 

WINXEBAGO   C01;NTY    I\    ST.\TE  LF.GISr,.\TURE. 

A  complete  roster  of  the  senators  and  repre- 
sentatives who  have  represented  Winnebago 
county  in  the  .state  legislature  is  given  herewith. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


lOI 


There  have  been  many  apportionments,  and  the 
county  has  had  quite  a  number  of  poHtical  neigh- 
bors. Among  these  since  the  pioneer  days  have 
been  Ogle,  Boone,  McHenry  and  Lake. 

\Mien  Germanicus  Kent  and  Thatcher  Blake 
settled  in  Rockford  in  1834,  what  is  now  Win- 
nebago county  was  a  part  of  senatorial  and  repre- 
sentative districts  which  covered  a  large  portion 
of  northern  Illinois. 

Under  the  apportionment  of  1831  the  counties 
of  Peoria,  Jo  Daviess,  Putnam,  La  Salle  and  Cook 
were  united  in  one  district,  and  had  one  senator 
and  one  representative.  Winnebago  countv.  hav- 
ing been  organized  from  attached  portions  of  La- 
Salle  and  Jo  Daviess,  was  included  in  this  ter- 
ritory. 

At  the  election  of  1832,  James  M.  Strode  was 
elected  senator,  and  Benjamin  Mills,  representa- 
tive. In  1834  James  W\  Stephenson  was  chosen 
senator,  but  he  resigned  and  James  M.  Strode  was 
chosen  his  successor.  John  Hamlin  was  elected 
representative. 

Winnebago  county  was  organized  in  1836,  and 
continued  to  l>e  attached  to  Jo  Daviess  county  in 
all  general  elections  until  the  apportionment  of 
1841.  At  the  general  election  in  1836,  A.  G.  S. 
\\"right,  of  Jo  Daviess,  was  elected  senator,  and 
Elijah  Charles  and  James  Craig  were  elected  rep- 
resentatives. In  1838  George  W.  Harrison  was 
chosen  senator,  and  served  the  district  until  a  new 
apportionment  was  made.  Germanicus  Kent,  of 
Winnebago,  and  James  Craig,  of  Jo  Daviess,  were 
elected  representatives.  In  1840  Thomas  Drum- 
mond,  of  Galena,  and  Hiram  W.  Thornton,  of  Jo 
Daviess,  were  elected  representatives. 

The  apportionment  of  February  26,  1841,  pro- 
vided that  the  county  of  Winnebago  should  have 
one  representative,  Ogle  one  representative,  ''and 
the  two  together  one  senator."  The  first  election 
under  this  apportionment  was  held  in  1842. 
Spooner  Ruggles,  of  Ogle  comity,  was  elected 
senator,  and  served  four  years.  Before  his  term 
had  expired,  however,  Mr.  Ruggles  had  become 
a  citizen  of  Winnebago  county.  In  1846  Anson 
S.  Miller  was  elected  senator  and  sen-ed  two 
years. 

In  1842  Darius  Adams  was  elected  represent- 
ative from  \\^innebago  county,  and  served  one 
term.  In  1844  Anson  S.  Miller  was  elected,  and 
served  one  term  ;  and  in  1846  Robert  J.  Cross  was 
elected  and  served  one  term. 

The  constitution  of  1848  divided  the  state  into 
twenty-five  senatorial  districts,  with  one  member 
each,  and  fifty-four  representative  districts,  with 
a  total  of  seventy-five  members. 

L'nder  this  apportionment,  McHenry,  Boone 
and  Winnebago  counties  constituted  the  Twenty- 
fourth  senatorial  district.  At  the  first  election 
Alfred  E.  Ames,  of  Winnebago  county,  was  elect- 
ed senator.     The  senators,  at  their  first  session 


under  the  new  constitution,  were  divided  by  lot.s 
into  two  classes.  The  seats  of  the  first  class  were 
vacated  at  the  expiration  of  the  second  year,  and 
those  of  the  second  class  at  the  expiration  of  the 
fourth  year,  so  that  one-half  of  the  members  were 
elected  biennially.  Mr.  Ames  drew  the  short  term 
and  served  two  years.  In  1850  Thomas  B.  Tal- 
cott  was  elected  senator,  and  served  four  years. 

LTnder  this  constitutional  apportionment,  Win- 
nebago county  constituted  the  Forty-seventh  rep- 
resentative district,  with  one  member.  Wilson  H. 
Crandall  was  elected  in  1848,  and  served  one- 
term.  Horace  ^filler  was  elected  in  1850,  and 
served  one  term.  In  1852  Abraham  I.  Enoch  was 
elected  and  served  two  years. 

The  act  of  February  27,  1854,  apportioned  the 
representation  in  the  general  assembly  at  twenty- 
five  senators  and  seventy-five  members  of  the 
house,  with  fifty-eight  representative  districts. 
Boone,  Winnebago,  Ogle  and  Carroll  comprised 
the  Third  senatorial  district. 

At  the  election  in  November,  1854,  Wait  Tal- 
cott,  of  Winnebago,  was  elected  senator  for  the 
Third  district,  and  served  the  full  term  of  four 
years.  In  1858  Zenas  Applington,  of  Ogle,  was 
elected,  and  served  four  years. 

The  apportionment  of  1854  made  Winnebago 
county  the  Fifty-third  representative  district,  with 
one  member.  In  November  of  that  year  Wil- 
liam Lyman,  of  Rockford.  was  elected,  and  served 
two  years.  In  1856  William  Lathrop  was  elected 
and  served  one  term.  Elijah  W.  Blaisdell,  Jr., 
was  elected  in  1858,  the  year  of  the  famous  Lin- 
coln and  Douglas  debate.  Mr.  Blaisdell  voted  for 
.\braham  Lincoln  for  L'nited  States  senator.  In 
i860  Alfred  A.  Hale  was  elected  and  served  one 
term. 

By  the  act  of  January  31,  1861,  the  repre- 
sentation was  fixed  at  twenty-five  senators  and 
eighty-five  members.  The  state  was  divided  into 
twenty-five  senatorial  and  si.xty-one  represent- 
ative districts.  Winnebago,  Boone,  McHenry  and 
Lake  constituted  the  Twentv-third  senatorial  dis- 
trict. 

At  the  first  election  on  this  basis,  in  1862, 
Cornelius  Lansing,  of  McHenry,  was  elected 
senator,  and  served  three  years.  Senator  Lansing 
died  August  26,  1865.  In  1866  General  Allen  C. 
Fuller,  of  Belvidere,  was  elected  senator,  and  was 
re-elected  in  1870. 

LTnder  the  apportionment  of  1861,  Winnebago 
county  was  made  the  Fifty-fifth  representative 
district,  with  one  member.  In  1862  Selden  M. 
Church,  of  Rockford,  was  elected,  and  served  one 
term.  In  1864  William  Brown,  of  Rockford,  was 
elected,  and  served  one  term.  Abraham  I.  Enoch 
was  elected  in  1866,  and  served  one  term. 
Ephraim  Sumner  was  elected  in  1868. 

The  representation  in  the  Twenty-seventh 
general    assembly,    which    convened    January    4, 


I02 


PAST     A\D    PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


1871.  was  the  first  under  the  constitution  of  1870, 
and  was  apportioneil  by  the  governor  and  sec- 
retary of  state.  There  were  fifty  senators  and 
177  representatives.  The  state  was  divided  into 
twenty-five  senatorial  districts,  and  ninety-seven 
representative  districts.  Winnebago,  lloone,  Mc- 
Henry  and  Lake  comities  constituted  the  Twenty- 
third  senatorial  district.  At  the  election  of  1870 
General  .Mien  C.  Fuller,  of  lielvitlere.  and  John 
Early,  of  Rock  ford,  were  elected  senators. 

Winnebago  county  was  made  the  Ninety-first 
re])resentative  district,  and  at  the  election  of  1S70 
James  M.  Wight  and  D.  Emmons  .\danis  were 
elected  members  of  the  house. 

By  the  act  of  March  i,  1872.  the  state  was 
divided  into  fifty-one  senatorial  districts,  as  pro- 
vided by  the  constitution.  Ivich  district  was  en- 
titled to  one  senator.  Winnebago  and  Boone 
counties  comj^rised  the  .Xiiith  senatorial  district. 
At  the  general  election  in  1872  John  ILirly,  of 
Rockford.  was  elected  senator  for  the  Ninth  dis- 
trict. Tlie  constitution  of  1870  provided  that 
senators  elected  in  1872  .should  vacate  their  of- 
fices at  the  expiration  of  two  years.  Mr.  Early 
was  re-elected  in  1874  for  the  full  tenn  of  four 
years,  but  died  while  in  office,  in  Se])t ember.  1877. 

In  1878  Charles  E.  I'"uller.  of  lielviilere,  was 
elected  senator,  after  a  notable  triangular  contest. 

Under  the  new  constitution  senatorial  and  rep- 
resentative districts  became  identical  for  the  first 
time  in  the  history  of  the  state.  Each  district 
was  entitled  to  three  rej^resentatives. 

In  1872  Robert  J.  Cross  and  Duncan  J.  .Stew- 
art, of  Winnebago  county,  and  Jesse  .^.  Ilildruii. 
of  Boone  county,  were  elected  rejjrescntatives  for 
the  Ninth  senatorial  district.  Mr.  Cross  died  in 
office.  February  15,  1873.  and  Richard  F.  Craw- 
ford was  chosen  to  complete  his  term.  In  1874 
-Andrew  .\shton  and  Ricliard  F.  Crawford,  of 
Winnebago,  and  Myron  K.  .\very.  of  lloone,  were 
electeft.  George  H.  Hollister.  John  Budlong.  and 
Andrew  Ashton,  all  of  Winnebago  countv,  were 
elected  in  1876.  In  1878  Omar  H.  Wright,  of 
Boone,  and  Thomas  Rutterworth  and  Horace  W. 
Taylor,  of  Winnebago,  were  electetl.  In  i88o 
Edward  B.  .Sumner,  of  W'innebago.  and  Omar  II. 
Wright,  of  Belvidcrc,  were  elected  as  rei)ublicans. 
and  Laurence  McDonald,  of  Winnebago,  was  the 
democratic  minority  representative. 

By  the  apportionment  act  of  May.  18S2.  Win- 
nebago and  Ogle  counties  were  united  in  the 
Tentli  senatorial  district. 

The  first  election  under  this  apportioniuent  was 
held  in  1882.  Lsaac  Rice,  of  Ogle  county,  the  hold- 
over senator  from  the  old  Twelfth  district,  had 
two  years  to  serve,  as  it  is  a  iirinciple  of  our 
present  constitutional  law  that  no  man  can  be 
legislated  oiu  of  office.  There  was  therefore  no 
election  of  senator  until  18S4.  when  Edward  B. 
Sumner   was  elected    for   the    full    term   of   four 


years.  Benjaiuin  F.  Sheets,  of  Ogle  county,  suc- 
ceeded Mr.  i^iunner  in  1888,  and  served  four 
years.  In  1892  David  Hunter,  of  W'innebago, 
was  elected  and  served  four  years. 

In  1882  Albert  F.  Brown  and  John  Seyster,  of 
Ogle,  and  Edward  B.  Sumner,  of  Winnebago, 
were  elected  representatives  for  the  Tenth  district. 
Albert  F.  Brown,  republican,  of  Ogle,  David 
Hunter.  repul)Iican,  of  Winnebago,  and  Edward 
M.  Winslow,  democrat,  of  Ogle,  were  elected  in 
1884.  In  1886  David  Hunter,  of  Winnebago. 
James  Lamont.  of  Winiiel)ago,  prohibitionist,  and 
James  P.  Wilson,  republican,  of  Ogle,  were 
elected  representatives.  From  1888  to  1890  David 
Hunter  and  Robert  Simpson,  of  Winnebago,  and 
\Vm.  H.  Co.K,  of  Ogle,  represented  the  district.  In 
1890  James  P.  Wilson  and  Prescott  Talbot,  of 
Ogle,  and  David  Hunter,  of  W'innebago,  were 
elected.  In  i8y2  James  P.  Wilson  and  Prescott 
H.  Talbot,  of  Ogle  county,  and  Lars  M.  Noling. 
of  W'innebago,  were  elected  representatives. 

By  the  apportionment  act  of  June  15,  1893, 
W^innebago  and  Ogle  counties  were  continued  as 
the  Tenth  district. 

The  first  election  for  senator  under  this  ap- 
portionment was  held  in  1896.  when  Delos  ^^^ 
Baxter,  of  Roclielle.  was  elected  senator  for  the 
full  term.  In  1900  Henry  Andrus.  of  Winne- 
bago, was  elected  senator,  and  his  term  expired 
January  i.  1905. 

The  first  election  for  representatives  under  this 
apportionment  was  in  1894.  when  Lars  M.  Noling 
and  C.  Harry  Woolsey,  of  Winnebago,  and  X'iclor 
H.  Bovey.  f)f  Ogle,  were  elected  for  this  district. 
In  1896  Lars  M.  Noling  and  Henry  Andrus.  of 
Winnebago,  and  ^'ictor  H.  Piovey.  of  Ogle,  all 
rei)ublicans,  were  elected.  In  1898  Henry  .Andrus 
and  I'rank  S.  Regan,  of  Winnebago,  and  James 

A.  Countryman,  of  Ogle,  were  elected.  In  1900 
James  .\.  Countryman  and  James  P.  Wilson,  of 
Ogle,  and  David  Hunter,  of  Winnebago,  were 
elected. 

l>y  the  act  of  May  10,  npr.  Winnelxigo  and 
Ogle  counties  were  for  a  third  time  made  the 
Tenth  senatorial  district. 

.\t  the  election  in  1902  Frederick  Haines,  rc- 
])ublican.  of  W^innebago.  Johnson  Lawrence,  re- 
])ublican,  of  Ogle,  and  James  P.  Wilson,  demo- 
crat, of  Ogle,  were  elected  representatives. 

B.  McHenry,  of  Ogle,  were  elected  representa- 
tives. 

At  the  general  election  in  November.  1904.  .A. 
J.  .Anderson  was  elected  senator,  and  Frederick 
Haines  and  C.  E.  Martin,  of  Winnebago,  and  W. 
P..  McHenry.  of  Ogle,  were  elected  represent- 
atives. 

jrouiAi.   iiisroRV — circuit   rencii. 

The  first  circuit  court  held  in  Winnebago 
county  convened  ( )ctober  Ct.  1837.  at  the  house  of 


PAST     AND     TRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


103 


Daniel  S.  Haight.  This  was  the  frame  huilding 
which  stood  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Madison 
and  State  streets,  a  part  of  which  is  now  on  the 
northeast  corner  of  Second  and  Wahiut  streets. 
Hon.  Daniel  Stone,  of  Galena,  was  the  presiding 
judge.  Seth  B.  Farwell  was  appointed  state's 
attorney  pro  tern ;  and  James  Mitchell,  then  of 
Jo  Daviess  county,  was  made  clerk. 

Under  the  first  constitution  of  Illinois,  the 
justices  of  the  supreme  court  and  the  judges  of 
the  inferior  courts  were  elected  by  joint  ballot  of 
the  legislature.  This  made  the  courts  in  a  sense, 
the  creatures  of  the  legislature,  rather  than  a  co- 
ordinate branch  of  the  government.  The  legisla- 
ture is  always  governed  more  or  less  by  partisan 
expediency,  and  the  reflex  action  u]ion  the  judi- 
ciary compromised  its  independence. 

The  first  judicial  apportionment  which  afifected 
Winnebago  county  was  the  act  of  the  legislature 
of  January  17.  1835,  by  which  the  state  was 
divided  into  six  judicial  circuits. 

Under  this  first  apportionment,  what  is  now 
Winnebago  county  formed  a  part  of  the  Sixth 
circuit.  Thomas  Ford  was  commissioned  Janu- 
ary ly,  1835,  but  he  never  presided  over  a  court 
within  the  present  limits  of  Winnebago  county. 
Judge  Ford  resigned  in  March.  1837,  and  was 
elected  governor  in  1842.  He  was  the  author  of 
Ford's  History  of  Illinois,  an  historical  classic. 
Judge  Ford  was  succeeded  by  Judge  Stone,  who 
was  commissioned  March  4,  1837. 

Judge  Stone,  a  native  of  \'ermont,  became  a 
member  of  the  Springfield  bar  in  1833.  Upon  his 
elevation  to  the  bench,  he  was  assigned  to  the 
northwestern  part  of  the  state,  and  removed  to 
Galena.  Judge  Stone  was  legislated  out  of  office 
in  1 84 1.  He  removed  a  few  years  later  from  the 
state,  and  died  in  New  Jersey. 

The  Seventh  judicial  circuit  was  created  Feb- 
ruar\-  4.  1837,  and  February  23,  1839,  the  Eighth 
and  Ninth  circuits  were  created.  Judges  were 
appointed  for  these  additional  circuits. 

The  judiciarv  of  the  state  was  reorganized  in 
1841  by  a  statute  which  repealed  all  former  laws 
authorizing  the  election  of  circuit  judges,  who 
were  legislated  out  of  office.  The  state  was 
divided  into  nine  circuits.  Additional  justices  of 
the  supreme  court  were  appointed,  who  were  re- 
quired to  do  circuit  duty.  The  judiciary,  as  thus 
organized,  was  continued  until  the  entire  system 
of  an  appointive  judiciary  was  swept  away  by  the 
new  constitution  of  1848. 

Under  this  new  system  the  first  judge  assigned 
to  circuit  duty  in  Rockford  was  Hon.  Thomas 
C.  Browne,  who  presided  at  the  first  term  of  court 
in  the  courthouse  completed  in  1844.  James 
Mitchell  was  clerk,  and  G.  A.  Sanford.  sheriff^. 
Judge  Browne  was  a  native  of  Kentucky,  and 
came  to  Illinois  before  its  organization  as  a  state. 
Upon   the  adoption  of  the  first  constitution,  he 


was  elevated  to  the  supreme  bench,  and  served 
continuously  thirty  years,  until  the  reorganiza- 
tion of  the  judiciary  under  the  constitution  of 
1848.  An  attempt  was  made  before  the  legisla- 
ture in  1843  to  impeach  his  ability  as  a  judge. 
Nearly  every  attorney  of  the  Winnebago  county 
bar  signed  a  petition  for  his  removal,  but  the  at- 
tempt resulted  in  failure.  Judge  Browne  died  in 
San  Francisco,  California,  about  1857. 

Hon.  Jesse  B.  Thomas  succeeded  Judge 
Browne  in  1847  ^^  presiding  judge  of  Winne- 
bago county,  and  served  until  the  judiciary  sys- 
tem was  changed  in  1848.  Judge  Thomas  first 
held  the  position  of  circuit  judge  from  1837  to 
1839.  In  1843  he  became  associate  judge  of  the 
supreme  court  by  appointment  of  the  governor, 
as  successor  to  Stephen  A.  Douglas,  and  was  sub- 
sequently elected  by  the  legislature  to  the  same 
office.    He  died  in  Chicago  February  21,  1850. 

Hon.  Hugh  T.  Dickey  was  the  first  judge  to 
preside  in  Rockford  after  the  adoption  of  the 
second  constitution.  Hugh  Thompson  Dickey 
came  to  Illinois  from  New  York  in  1840.  and  set- 
tled in  Chicago.  In  September,  1848,  he  was 
elected  judge  of  the  Seventh  judicial  circuit.  He 
died  in  New  York,  his  native  city,  June  2,  1892. 

Hon.  Hugh  Henderson,  of  Joliet,  succeeded 
Judge  Dickey,  and  presided  in  1848  and  1849. 
He  died  soon  afterward,  and  little  is  known  of 
him. 

Judge  Benjamin  R.  Sheldon  succeeded  Judge 
Henderson.  Judge  Sheldon  was  a  native  of  jMas- 
sachusetts.  He  came  to  Illinois  at  an  early  day, 
and  resided  first  at  Hennepin,  and  later  at  Galena. 
He  was  elected  in  1848  judge  of  the  Sixth  circuit, 
which  was  afterward  divided,  and  he  was  as- 
signed to  the  Fourteenth  circuit.  He  remained 
on  the  circuit  bench  until  1870.  when  he  was  elect- 
ed a  justice  of  the  supreme  bench,  presiding  as 
chief  justice  in  1877.  He  was  re-elected  in  1879, 
and  retired  in  1888.  Judge  Sheldon  then  became 
a  resident  of  Rockford,  where  he  died  April  13, 
1897.  He  left  an  estate  valued  at  $2,000,000. 
He  bequeathed  $10,000  to  the  Young  Men's 
Christian  Association  of  Rockford.  and  $10,000 
to  Rockford  College, 

Hon.  William  Brown  was  the  first  citizen  of 
Rockford  to  be  elected  to  the  circuit  bench.  Judge 
Brown  was  a  native  of  England,  born  in  Cum- 
berland, June  I,  1819.  His  father's  family  came 
to  America  in  1827,  and  settled  in  New  York. 
The  son  read  law  in  Rome,  and,  after  being  ad- 
mitted to  the  bar,  came  to  Rockford  in  1846.  In 
1852  Mr.  Brown  was  elected  by  a  large  majority 
state's  attorney  for  the  Fourteenth  judicial  cir- 
cuit, comprising  Winnebago,  Stephenson  and  Jo 
Daviess  counties,  serving  for  four  years.  Mr. 
Brown  was  elected  mayor  of  Rockford  in  1857, 
and  in  1864  he  was  chosen  member  of  the  legis- 
lature.    In  1870  ^Ir.  Brown  was  elected  a  judge 


I04 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


of  the  circuit  court,  to  fill  the  vacancy  occasioned 
by  the  promotion  of  Judge  Sheldon  to  the  su- 
preme bench.  Under  the  judicial  apportionment 
of  March  28.  1873.  Jo  Daviess.  Stephenson  and 
Winnelxiijo  counties  formed  the  First  circuit.  In 
the  following  June  Judge  I'.rown  was  elected  for 
the  full  tenii  of  six  years.  He  was  subsequently 
elected  for  two  full  terms,  making  a  total  period 
of  over  t^venty  years  on  the  bench.  Judge  I'.rown 
died  January  15,  1891. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1873  the  legislature, 
in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  the  constitu- 
tion of  1870.  divided  tlie  state,  exclusive  of  Cook 
county,  into  twenty-six  judicial  circuits.  In  1877 
the  legislature,  in  order  to  increase  the  number  of 
circuit  judges,  and  to  provide  for  the  organiza- 
tion of  appellate  courts,  divided  the  state,  outside 
of  Cook  county,  into  thirteen  districts,  and  pro- 
vided for  the  election  of  one  additional  judge  in 
each  district.  In  August,  1877,  one  additional 
judge  for  each  circuit  was  elected  for  two  years, 
making  three  judges  in  each  district. 

I'nder  this  act,  in  force  July  i,  1877.  the  First 
judicial  circuit,  of  which  Winnebago  county 
formed  a  part,  was  consolidated  with  the  Third 
circuit,  and  made  the  Thirteenth.  By  this  ap- 
portionment Judge  Hcaton.  formerly  of  the  Third 
circuit,  and  Judge  Bailey  became  judges  of  the 
circuit  court  of  \\'innebago  county,  in  addition  to 
Judge  Brown. 

Hon.  William  W.  Heaton  was  a  native  of  New 
York,  and  settled  at  Dixon,  Illinois,  in  1840.  In 
1861  he  was  elected  judge  of  the  Twenty-second 
circuit,  and  occupied  a  seat  upon  the  liench, 
through  repeated  re-elections,  until  his  death.  De- 
ceml)er  26.  1877,  while  ser\-ing  as  a  member  of 
the  ajipellate  court  for  the  First  district. 

Judge  Joseph  M.  Bailey,  a  native  of  New  York, 
settled  in  Freeport,  Illinois,  in  1856,  and  began 
the  practice  of  law.  His  first  election  to  the 
bench  in  1877  was  for  two  years,  l)ut  he  was  re- 
elected in  1879  and  1885.  He  was  several  times 
assigned  to  duty  on  the  ajipellate  bench,  and  in 
1888  he  was  elected  to  the  Ix^nch  of  the  supreme 
court.  Judge  Bailev  died  in  office  October  16. 
1895. 

Hon.  John  V.  Eustace  came  to  Illinois  in  1842 
from  Philadelphia,  his  native  city.  He  settled  in 
Dixon,  where  he  resided  until  his  death.  He  was 
first  elected  circuit  judge  in  1857.  and  served  one 
term.  In  March.  1878,  he  was  again  elevated  to 
the  bench  to  succeed  Judge  Heaton.  He  was  re- 
elected in  1879.  and  again  in  1885.  Judge  Eus- 
tace died  in  Dixon  in  1888. 

Judge  John  D.  Crabtree  was  a  native  of  Eng- 
land, and  emigrated  to  .America  in  the  early  ■40s. 
He  went  from  Chicago  to  Pecatonica.  where  he 
worked  on  a  farm  for  the  late  Ephraim  Sumner. 
He  then  made  his  home  in  Lee  count v,  where  hi« 
entire  subsequent  life  was  spent.     He  was  state 


senator  for  the  Nineteenth  district  in  the  thirty- 
fifth  general  assembly,  where  he  was  a  colleague 
of  Hon.  E.  B.  Sumner.  June  4.  1888,  he  was 
elected  judge  of  the  Thirteenth  circuit,  to  suc- 
ceed Judge  Bailey.  June  i,  1891,  he  was  re- 
elected for  the  full  term.  Judge  Crabtree  died 
suddenly  at  Ottawa,  May  22,  1902,  while  attend- 
ing a  session  of  the  appellate  court. 

Judge  James  H.  Cartwright  is  a  son  of  Rev. 
Peter  Cartwright,  the  famous  pioneer  Methodist 
preacher.  He  began  the  practice  of  law  at  Ore- 
gon, in  Ogle  county,  in  1870.  In  1888  he  was 
elected  circuit  judge  to  succeed  Judge  Eustace, 
and  in  1891  he  was  assigned  to  appellate  duty.  In 
1895  he  was  elected  justice  of  the  supreme  court 
to  succeed  Judge  Bailey,  and  re-elected  in  1897. 

Hon.  James  Shaw  is  a  native  of  Ireland.  His 
career  as  an  attorney  began  at  Mount  Carroll.  Il- 
linois. He  served  eight  years  in  the  Illinois  house 
of  representatives,  and  was  speaker  of  that  body 
in  1877.  In  1 89 1  he  was  elected  judge  for  the 
Thirteenth  circuit,  and  in  1897  he  was  re-elected 
for  the  Fifteenth  circuit,  under  the  last  appor- 
tionment. 

John  C.  Garver  was  a  native  of  Winnebago 
county.  He  was  born  on  a  farm  near  Pecatonica. 
He  took  a  full  collegiate  course  at  Wittcnburg 
College,  Springfield.  Ohio,  and  studied  law  under 
the  tutorshiji  of  General  Keifer,  at  one  time  speak- 
er of  the  lower  house  of  congress.  In  1871  Mr. 
Garver  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  and  began  the 
practice  of  his  profession  in  Rockford.  In  1872 
he  was  elected  state's  attorney  of  Winnebago 
county,  and  re-elected  in  1876.  In  1896  Mr.  Gar- 
ver was  elected  to  the  circuit  bench,  to  succeed 
Judge  James  Cartwright,  upon  the  elevation  of 
the  latter  to  the  supreme  bench.  Judge  Girver 
was  elected  judge  of  the  Seventeenth  circuit,  un- 
der the  apportionment  of  1897.  Judge  Garver 
died  November  27.  1901. 

Under  the  apportioimient  of  1897.  McHenry, 
Boone,  Lake  and  Winnebago  counties  constituted 
the  Seventeenth  circuit.  In  June  of  that  year  Hon. 
Giarles  IT.  Donnelly,  of  Waukcgan.  and  Hon. 
Charles  E.  Ftdler  were  elected  with  Judge  Gar- 
ver, already  noted. 

Hon.  Giarles  E.  Fuller  is  a  native  of  Boone 
county,  where  his  entire  life  has  been  spent.  He 
was  born  in  Flora  township  in  1849.  After  his 
admission  to  the  bar  in  1870  his  rise  to  political 
prominence  was  very  rapid.  Ilis  first  office  was 
that  of  citv  attorney  of  Belvidere.  In  1876  he 
was  elected  state's  attorney  of  Boone  county.  Two 
vears  later  he  was  elected  state  senator  after  a 
bitter  contest  that  has  Ix^come  historic.  Judge 
Fullers'  legislative  experience  covers  eight  years 
in  the  state  senate,  and  six  in  the  house.  In  the 
memorable  struggle  over  the  I'nited  State  sen- 
atorship  in  1885,  Mr.  Fuller  was  the  recognized 
leader   of   the    "Famous    103."    which    stood    to- 


PAST     AND    PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


105 


gether  until  the  re-election  of  General  John  A. 
Logan  was  accomplished,  after  a  contest  of  four 
months.  In  1897  Mr.  Fuller  was  elected  judge 
of  the  Seventeenth  circuit  for  the  full  term  of  six 
years.  In  1902  Judge  Fuller  was  nominated 
member  of  congress  for  the  Twelfth  district  with- 
out opposition,  and  in  1904  he  was  renominated 
with  the  same  unique  distinction.  While  Judge 
Fuller's  temper  is  pre-eminently  that  of  a  parlia- 
mentary leader,  yet  he  achieved  the  reputation  as 
one  of  the  fairest  judges  upon  the  local  bench. 

Upon  the  death  of  Judge  Garver.  Hon.  A.  H. 
Frost  was  elected  in  1902  to  fill  the  unexpired 
term.  Judge  Frost  was  born  in  A'ermont,  May 
12,  1856.  In  1861  he  came  to  Rockford,  where 
he  has  since  resided.  Judge  Frost  read  law  in  the 
office  of  the  late  Major  N.  C.  Warner,  and  was 
admitted  to  the  bar  January  19,  1879.  For  some 
years  thereafter  he  served  Rockford  as  police 
magistrate.  He  was  elected  state's  attorney  of 
Winnebago  county  in  1892,  and  re-elected  in  i8g6 
and  1900.  This  office  he  resigned  February  24, 
1902. 

The  election  of  Judge  Fuller  as  member  of 
congress  involved  his  retirement  from  the  bench, 
and  at  the  judicial  election  held  in  June,  1903, 
Hon.  A.  H.  Frost,  Charles  H.  Donnelly  and  Hon. 
Robert  W.  Wright  were  elected  judges  of  the 
Seventeenth  circuit  for  the  full  term  of  six  years. 

Judge  Wright  is  the  youngest  judge  who  ever 
sat  upon  the  circuit  bench  in  Rockford.  He  is 
the  elder  son  of  the  late  Hon.  O.  H.  Wright,  of 
Belvidere,  who  once  represented  Rockford  district 
in  the  state  legislature.  Judge  Wright  was  born 
July  I,  1862.  He  read  law  in  his  father's  office, 
and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  at  the  age  of  twenty- 
one.  In  1884  he  was  elected  state's  attorney  of 
Boone  county,  and  was  re-elected  in  1888.  1892 
and  1896,  serving  sixteen  years. 

Judge  Charles  H.  Donnelly  is  a  native  of 
Woodstock,  Illinois,  where  he  was  born  August 
22,  1835.  He  received  his  collegiate  education  at 
Notre  Dame  University,  and  was  admitted  to  the 
bar  in  January,  1877.  From  1883  to  1891  he  was 
city  attorney  of  Woodstock.  In  1886  he  was 
elected  captain  of  Company  G,  Third  Regiment. 
Illinois  National  Guard,  which  position  he  held 
until  1892.  In  i8go  he  was  elected  county  judge, 
and  served  until  June,  1897,  when  he  resigned 
and  was  elected  a  judge  of  the  Seventeenth  cir- 
cuit. Judge  Donnelly  was  re-elected  in  1903.  In 
July,  1902,  Judge  Donnelly  heard  the  arguments 
in  the  locally  famous  library  site  case,  in  cham- 
bers at  Woodstock. 

PROB,\TE    AND    COUNTY    JUDGES. 

Previous  to  1837  a  judge  of  probate  was  ap- 
pointed for  each  county  by  the  legislature.  In 
1837  the  office  was  made  elective,  with  the  title 
of  probate  justice  of  the  peace,  to  be  filled  by  a 


vote  of  the  people.  The  constitution  of  1848 
brought  this  court  to  an  end,  and  transferred  its 
powers  to  the  judge  of  the  county  court. 

Milton  Kilburn  was  the  first  judge  of  probate, 
and  served  from  1836  to  1837.  Mr.  Kilburn  was 
a  settler  of  1835. 

Charles  I.  Horsman  was  the  second  judge  of 
probate,  and  held  the  office  from  1837  to  1838. 
Mr.  Horsman  came  to  Rockford  in  1836,  with 
his  bride,  the  only  daughter  of  Abiram  Morgan. 
Mr.  Horsman  was  one  of  the  best  known  citi- 
zens of  Winnebago  county. 

Anson  Barnum  was  the  third  probate  judge, 
and  held  the  office  from  1838  to  1841.  He  was  a 
son  of  Ezra  Barnum,  the  first  shoemaker  of  the 
village.     The  family  settled  in  Rockford  in  1835. 

John  W.  Taylor  held  the  office  from  1841  to 
1843.  He  was  a  prominent  citizen  of  early  Rock- 
ford. and  a  brother-in-law  of  the  late  T.  D.  Rob- 
ertson. 

Bela  Shaw  was  probate  justice  of  the  peace 
from  1843  to  1849.  Judge  .Shaw  came  to  Rock- 
ford in  the  later  '30s.  He  died  suddenlv.  Alav 
31,    1865. 

Selden  M.  Church  was  the  first  county  judge 
under  the  constitution  of  1848,  and  held  the  of- 
fice froiu  1849  to  1837.  Judge  Church  was  a 
member  of  the  constitutional  convention  of  1847, 
and  later  was  a  member  of  the  legislature. 

Anson  S.  Miller  succeeded  Judge  Church,  and 
served  from  1857  to  1863.  Judge  ililler  also 
served  at  various  times  as  senator,  representative 
and  postmaster.  He  was  a  brother  of  Cyrus  F. 
and  Asher  Miller. 

Abram  S.  Van  Dyke,  of  Pecatonica,  was  elected 
in  1863,  and  served  until  1873,  when  he  resigned, 
just  before  the  expiration  of  his  term. 

Judge  R.  C.  Bailey  was  first  chosen  in  1873  to 
fill  the  unexpired  term  of  Judge  Van  Dyke.  At 
the  county  election  in  that  year  he  was  elected, 
and  has  held  the  office  thirty-two  years.  This 
long  service  on  the  bench  is  without  parallel  in 
the  history  of  Winnebago  county,  and,  so  far  as 
known  to  the  writer,  is  without  precedent  in  Illi- 
nois. Judge  Bailey  was  born  in  Auburn,  Maine, 
July  28.  1833,  and  was  graduated  from  the  scien- 
tific department  of  Amherst  College,  Massachu-' 
setts,  in  1833.  He  came  to  Rockford  and  entered 
the  profession  of  civil  engineer,  which  he  fol- 
lowed until  1838,  when  he  took  up  the  study  of 
law,  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  August  18.  i860. 
He  practiced  in  this  citv  until  he  was  elected  to 
his  present  position.  His  pleasant  bearing  and 
judicial  fairness  have  made  him  .'in  'deal  official, 
and  the  honor  bestowed  upon  him  is  a  partial 
demonstration  of  the  esteem  in  whxh  he  is  held. 

RO.STER   OF   COUNTY    CLERKS. 

Under  the  first  constitution  this  officer  was 
clerk  of  the  countv  commissioners'  court.     From 


io(i 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


1841^  t(i  1835  1k'  was  till'  ck-rk  of  the  (.-niiiiix  court 
and  of  the  btiard  of  supervisors.  In  tlie  latter 
year  a  separate  clerk  was  apiiointed  by  the  board, 
under  a  special  act  of  the  legislature.  These  offi- 
cers were  subsequently  united.  The  following 
n.iined  citizens  have  served  as  county  clerk: 

Don  .\loiizo  Si)auldiiig.  1836  to  1837:  Nathan- 
iel Looniis,  1837  to  1838:  .\nsi>n  lianiuni.  1838  Id 
1840:  Sehlen  M.  Church.  1840  to  1847;  Benja- 
min .\.  Rose.  1847  '"  1849:  \Vniiani  Hulin,  1844 
to  .\i)ril  2.  iSs5  ;  Duncan  Ferguson.  1855  to  1856; 
E.  S.  Gaylord.  1856  to  1867:  I.  S.  Hyatt.  1867 
to  1869;  T.  I.  Laniont,  1869  to  1873;  !>.  F.  Lee. 
1873  to  1877;  Thomas  Bell.  1877  to  1886;  Mar- 
cus .\.  .Norton,  to  date,  a  period  of  nineteen  years. 

BOOKS     WRITTEN     IIV    ROCKFORl)     PEOPLE. 

Rock  ford  has  never  assumed  the  role  of  polit- 
ical dictator  outside  of  its  own  area  of  local  inter- 
ests. Perhaps,  however,  there  are  comjiensations 
and  balances  in  communal  as  well  as  individual 
life.  Certain  it  is  that  our  city  lias  jiroduced  a 
goodly  number  of  what  the  late  Senator  Zach 
Chandler  called  "literary  fellers."  The  general 
reader  will  doubtless  be  surprised  to  learn  that 
not  less  than  eighty  books  have  been  written  by 
persons  who  have  been,  for  a  greater  or  lesser 
|)eriod.  actual  residents  of  Rockford.  Only  .i 
small  number,  however,  have  been  written  while 
the  aiuhors  claimed  Rockford  as  their  home.  The 
majority  attained  this  distinctinn  after  removal 
to  other  fields.  It  is.  therefore,  in  no  invidious 
sense  that  it  may  be  said  that  Rockford  is  a  good 
])lace  from  which  to  emigrate.  It  is  the  ])ur])osc 
of  this  chapter  to  present  as  comjilete  a  list  as 
Ijossible  of  these  authors. 

David  (;.  Croly  and  his  famous  wife.  "Jennie 
June."  edited  the  Rockford  Daily  .News  from 
I-'ebruary  1859,  to  April,  i860.  Mr.  Croly  subse- 
(|Uently  became  city  etlitor  of  the  New  York 
World,  and  later  its  managing  editor.  He  wrote 
"Lives  of  Seymour  and  Blair."  "A  History  of  Re- 
construction." and  ".\  Primer  of  Positivism." 

"Jennie  June"  is  best  known  to  the  world  as  the 
editor  of  Demorest's  .Magazine.  .Mrs.  Croly's  ])en 
name  uf  "Jennie  June"  was  derived  from  a  little 
^)oem  written  by  Benjamin  F.  Taylor,  sent  to  her 
when  she  was  about  twelve  years  old,  by  her  pas- 
tor, with  the  name  underlined,  because,  he  said. 
"You  are  the  Juniest  little  girl  I  know."  Mrs. 
Croly's  books  are :  "Talks  on  Women's  Toi^ics." 
"T'or  lietter  or  Worse."  "Thrown  l'])on  her  Own 
Resources."  "Knitters  and  Crochet."  "Letters  and 
.Monograms."  "Cookery  l!ook  for  Young  Begin- 
ners." "History  of  the  Woman's  Club  Move- 
ment." 

Itishop  John  H.  N'incent.  who  has  achieved 
world-wide  fame  as  the  founder  of  the  ChaiUau(|ua 
Literary  and  Scientific  Circle,  was  [lastor  of  the 


Court  Street  .M.  F.  church  from  1861  to  1864. 
During  this  pastorate  he  took  a  trip  to  Europe  in 
company  with  Hon.  R.  H.  Tinker.  Bishop  \'in- 
cent's  published  works  arc :  "The  Modern  Sun- 
day School."  "Studies  in  Young  Life."  "Little 
l-'ootjirints  in  Bible  Lands,"  "The  Church.  School 
.'ind  Sundav  School  Institutes."  "ICarthly  I'oot- 
prints  of  the  Man  of  (ialilee."  "Better  .Not,"  "The 
Chautauqua  Movement."  "To  Old  Piethlehem." 
"Outline  Histories  of  England.  Greece  and 
Rome,"  "Our  Own  Qiurch." 

Rev.  E.  C.  .Mitchell,  the  first  jiastor  of  the  State 
Street  Baptist  church,  was  subset|uently  profes- 
sor of  Piiblical  literature  at  Shurtleff  College,  pro- 
fessor of  Hebrew  in  Regent's  I 'ark  College.  Lon- 
don, and  hekl  similar  positions  at  .Nashville,  New 
Orleans  and  Paris,  France.  Mr.  Mitchell  revised 
and  edited  Davies'  Hebrew  and  Chaldee  Lexicon. 
With  this  he  issued  "The  Principles  of  Hebrew 
Grammar."  In  1880  he  issued  a  new  translation 
of  (jesenius'  Hebrew  Grammar. 

Dr.  Henry  M.  Goodwin,  for  twenty-one  years 
]iastor  of  the  h'irst  Congregatit)nal  church,  was  a 
gentleman  of  scholarly  tastes.  In  1875  he  i)ub- 
lished  his  work.  "Christ  and  Humanity."  which 
was  dedicated  "To  Horace  Bushnell.  my  revered 
friend  and  teacher,  whose  profound  and  sancti- 
fied genius  has  made  the  world  his  debtor,  and 
whose  eminent  services  to  Christianity  in  the  re- 
conciliation of  faith  and  reason  awail  thr  \-t,'rdiot 
of  the  future  ages." 

In  1864  Rev.  Mead  Holmes  ])ublished  a  memoir 
of  his  only  son.  Mead  Holmes.  Jr..  with  the  title. 
■'.\  Soldier  of  the  Cumberland."  This  young  .sol- 
dier fell  at  Murfreesboro,  Tennessee.  .Ajiril  12. 
iSCfi,.  at  the  age  of  twentv-one  vears. 

Mary  F.  Holmes.  Ph.  'D..  i)ublishe(l  in  1887 
"The  Morphology  of  the  Carinae  l'i)on  the  Septa 
of  Rugose  Corals.  "  The  book,  finely  illustrated, 
bears  the  imprint  of  a  Boston  publishing  lu)use. 
The  work  was  presented  as  a  thesis  for  the  de- 
gree of  Doctor  of  Philosophy,  in  the  L^niversity 
of  Michigan,  and  is  signed  by  Professor  . Alexan- 
der \\"inchell.  the  well-known  scientist  and  author 
of  "Preadaiuites." 

Mrs.  S.  M.  I.  Henry  was  one  of  the  first  wom- 
en to  devote  her  life  to  gospel  temperance  work- 
in  a  public  maiuicr.  Her  writings  arc:  ".\fter 
the  Truth  Series,"  "X'ictoria,''  "Pledge  and 
Cross,"  "\'oice  of  the  Home,"  "Mabel's  Work," 
"One  More  Chance,"  "P>eforehand."  "Marble 
Cross."  "L'nanswered  Prayer."  "Frances  Ray- 
mond's Investment." 

The  late  l''liiah  W.  Blaisdill  was  a  man  of 
versatile  talents,  .\bout  twenty-five  years  ago  he 
wrote  "The  Hidden  Record,"  a  novel,  the  scene 
of  whicli  was  laid  in  the  war  of  181 2.  The  book 
was  ])ublished  by  the  Lippincotts,  of  Philadel- 
phia.    .\  short  tiiuc  before  his  death   Mr.  Blais- 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


107 


dell  completed  "The  Rajah,"  a  political  burlescjue, 
and  "Eva,  the  General's  Daughter,"  foimded  on 
incidents  of  the  Black  Hawk  war. 

Rev.  Henry  C.  Mabie,  D.  D.,  formerly  pastor 
of  the  State  Street  Baptist  church,  was  in  1890 
chosen  home  secretary  of  the  American  Baptist 
Missionary  Union.  Previous  to  entering  upon  his 
duties,  he  made  a  tour  of  the  mission  fields,  which 
were  to  come  under  his  supervision.  His  obser- 
vations were  published  under  the  title  "In  Bright- 
est Asia." 

The  late  Mrs.  Mary  Braiiiard,  an  old  resident 
of  Rockford,  was  a  hospital  nurse  during  the 
Civil  war.  She  published  three  volumes  of  verse : 
"Esther  Gray  and  ( )ther  Poems,"  "Memorial 
Pictures  of  War  and  Peace,"  "Heart  Offerings." 
Robert  P.  Porter,  superintendent  of  the  elev- 
enth census,  and  widely  known  as  a  writer  on 
economic  subjects,  began  his  newspaper  career 
as  city  editor  of  the  Rockford  Gazette.  His  books 
are :  "The  West  in  1880,"  "Life  of  William  Mc- 
Kinlev,"  "Municipal  Ownership  at  Home  and 
Abroad,"   "Industrial   Cuba." 

The  later  Frederick  C.  Pierce,  another  city  edi- 
tor of  the  Gazette,  made  a  specialty  of  compiling 
genealogies.  His  last  achievement  was  a  "Gene- 
alogy of  the  Field  Family,"  for  Marshall  Field, 
the  merchant  prince  of  Chicago.  This  work  is  in 
two  large  volumes,  and  a  copy  has  been  presented 
to  the  public  library.  While  in  Rockford  Mr. 
Pierce  published  "Picturesque  and  Descriptive 
History  of  the  City  of  Rockford,"  and  "The  Life 
of  Hon.  Robert  M.  A.  Hawk."  member  of  con- 
gress. 

Professor  J.  D.  S.  Riggs,  late  of  Ottawa  Uni- 
versity, Kansas,  spent  many  years  of  his  early  life 
in  Rockford.  His  father  was  a  charter  member 
of  the  State  Street  Baptist  church.  Professor 
Riggs  has  published  "In  Latinuni,"  a  Latin  text- 
book founded  on  Caesar,  which  was  formerly 
used  in  the  Rockford  high  school. 

Professor  Henry  Freeman  published  in  1873 
a  book  entitled  "Wonders  of  the  \\'orld."  It  is 
a  work  both  of  compilation  and  original  work. 
It  bears  the  imprint  of  a  Boston  publisher. 
.^  Dr.  George  W.  Brown's  "Researches  in  Ori- 
■'''ental  History"  has  had  four  editions.  It  is  an  in- 
quirv  into  the  origin  of  Judai.sm,  Zoroasticism 
and  Christianity.  "Or.  Brown  founded  the  first 
free  state  paper  in  Kansas.  It  was  called  the 
Herald  of  Freedom,  published  at  Lawrence.  The 
doctor  has  bound  files  of  this  paper  in  his  office. 
Dr.  Brown  clainis  the  distinction  of  furnishing  a 
truthful  statement  of  the  alleged  adoption  of  the 
Lecompton  constitution  to  Stephen  A.  Douglas, 
upon  which  the  senator  repudiated  that  measure 
and  broke  with  the  Buchanan  wing  of  the  de- 
mocracy. 

Rev.'  Frank    P.   Woodbury   published   in    1883 
"Luther   and   the   Annals   of   the   Reformation," 


as  the  outcome  of  a  series  of  historical  sermons 
delivered  in  the  Second  Congregational  church. 
Rev.  R.  !•'.  V.  Pierce  was  the  third  pastor  of 
the  State  Street  Baptist  church  to  enter  the  field 
of  book-writing.  During  his  Rockford  pastorate 
he  wrote  and  published  "Pictured  Truth." 

Mrs.  Ralph  Emerson  published  in  1891  the  life 
and  letters  of  her  son,  Ralph  Emerson,  Jr.,  who 
was  killed  in  August,  1889.  It  is  a  beautiful 
tribute  to  a  worthy  son,  wdio  gave  promise  of 
great  usefulness  in  later  years.  Mrs.  Emerson 
has  also  published  a  volume  of  verse,  "Love- 
Bound,  and  Other  Poems,"  which  is  dedicated  to 
her  husband   and   children. 

The  late  John  H.  Thurston  made  a  valuable 
contribution  to  local  history  in  his  "Reminis- 
cences," published  in  1891.  In  this  little  volume 
the  author  graphically  portrayed  that  pioneer  so- 
cial life  in  which  he  moved. 

Airs.  Harriott  \\'ight  Sherratt  published  in 
1899  a  delightful  volume  of  travel,  with  the  title, 
"^Mexican  Vistas."  The  local  demand  for  this 
book  has  been  great,  and  the  sale  in  the  general 
trade  has  been   most  gratifying. 

Harrv  M.  Johnson  is  the  author  of  a  small  vol- 
ume, entitled  "Edith:  A  Story  of  Chinatown,' 
the  scene  of  which  is  laid  in  the  Chinese  district 
in  Los  Angeles,  California. 

Rev.  J.  B.  Robinson,  D.  D.,  formerly  pastor  of 
Grace  M.  E.  church,  has  written  a  volume  of 
verse,  "The  New  Woman,  and  Other  Poems." 

Alexander  McCleneghan,  formerly  a  well- 
known  local  newspaper  writer,  has  written  "Six 
Years  in  Heaven,"  founded  upon  the  strange  ca- 
reer of  George  Jacob  Schweinfurth. 

;\Irs.  H.  Houghton  Chapel,  JNI.  D.,  published  a 
small  volume  of  poems  in  1901.  She  now  resides 
in   Palmetto,  Florida. 

Eugene  Brown  and  Ford  Rowe,  formerly  con- 
nected with  the  Register-Gazette,  compiled  a 
work,  "Industrial  and  Picturesque  Rockford." 

Charles  Eugene  Banks,  formerly  city  editor  of 
the  Register-Gazette,  has  Dublished  a  volume  of 
verse,  "Sword  and  Cross,  and  Other  Poems."  Mr. 
Banks  was  also  associated  with  George  Cram 
Cook  in  writing  "In  Hampton  Roads,"  a  drama- 
tic romance,  which  was  once  quite  popular  with 
local  readers.  Mr.  Banks  most  popular  work  is 
"The  Child  of  the  Sun,"  a  beautifully  illustrated 
work  of  juvenile  fiction. 

Mrs.  C.  C.  Jones'  book,  "Humanities,"  is  an 
interesting  series  of  meditations  upon  life,  duty 
and  manners.  She  presents  her  father  as  the 
highest  ideal  of  the  manly  virtues.  The  book 
was  dedicated  to  the  late  Dr.  Thomas  Kerr. 

Mrs.  Carrie  Grout's  volume,  "By  the  Way,"  is 
a  collection  of  sketches,  written  in  popular  news- 
paper style. 

Mrs.  Eliza  Roe  Shannon,  who  recently  died  in 
the   west,   a   music   teacher   of   Rockford   in   the 


io8 


PAST     AND    TRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


earlv  '60s,  wrote  the  life  of  her  father,  the  ven- 
erable Charles  Hill  Roe.  for  fifteen  years  pastor 
of  the  First  Baptist  church  of  Belvidcre.  Dr.  Roe 
perfonned  a  unique  service  to  his  country,  simi- 
lar to  that  of  Henry  Ward  Bceclier.  in  delivering 
addresses  in  Eng^land  and  creatintj  northern  sen- 
timent durins:  the  Civil  war. 

Daniel  Fish,  formerly  a  student  in  the  Rockford 
schools,  has  compiled  the  most  complete  Lincoln 
bibliography. 

Charles  A.  Church's  "History  of  Rockford" 
was  issued  in  1900.  This  is  believed  to  be  the 
largest  volume  of  exclusively  original  work  un- 
dertaken by  a  Rockford  writer.  Mr.  Church  has 
also  written  the  life  of  Ccneral  .Mien  C.  Fuller, 
the  war  adjutant  of  Illinois.  He  has  also  edited 
several  pamphlets. 

The  autobiography  of  Elder  Jacob  Knapp  was 
published  in  1867.  It  is  an  interesting  volume, 
revealing  the  inner  life  and  notable  exjieriences 
of  one  of  the  remarkable  men  of  his  time. 

\\'i]liam  Hulin  edited  a  work  on  school  law, 
with  forms,  which  was  of  value  to  teachers. 

Miss  Julia  Gulliver,  president  of  Rockford  Col- 
lege, collaborated  with  Edward  Bradford  Titch- 
ener,  sage  professor  of  psychology-  in  Cornell 
University,  in  translating  the  first  volume  of 
"Facts  of  the  Moral  Life."  This  is  a  work  in 
three  volumes,  by  William  W'undt,  professor  of 
philosophy  in  the  I'niversity  of  Leii)zig.  The 
translation  was  published  in  1897  in  New  York 
and  London.  The  second  and  third  volumes  were 
translated  by  Margaret  Floy  Washburn,  profes- 
sor of  psycholog}-  and  ethics  in  Wells  College. 

Giarles  J.  Woodbury,  a  half-brother  of  Rev. 
Frank  P.  Woodbury,  formerly  pastor  of  the  Sec- 
ond Congregational  church.  pul)lislu'<l  a  volume 
in  1890  entitled  "Talks  With  Ralph  Waldo  Em- 
erson." 

.•\lfrcd  H.  Henry  has  written  a  story  of  Mor- 
mon life  in  Utah,  "By  Order  of  the  Prophet." 
Mr.  Henry  is  a  son  of  the  late  Mrs.  S.  M.  I. 
Henry,  and  lived  in  Rockford  when  a  boy. 

"Annals  of  a  Quiet  Country  Town"  is  a  vol- 
ume of  sketches  written  by  Mrs.  Julia  Katherine 
Barnes,  and  illustrated  by  E.  Warde  Blaisdeli. 
It  is  a  series  of  local  character  sketches.  Among 
the  portraits  are  those  of  the  late  Dr.  Thomas 
Kerr  and  H.  H.  Waldo. 

Fay  Lewis  has  edited  and  compiled  a  small 
volume.  "The  City  Jail."  It  is  a  plea  for  more 
enlightened  views  and  humane  practices  toward 
those  who  have  been  guilty  of  offenses  against 
good  order.  .-\  number  of  local  writers  contrib- 
uted to  the  symposium. 

General  A.  L.  Gietlain's  "Recollections  of  Sev- 
enty Years"  is  an  interesting  volume  of  reminis- 
cences, and  contains  valuable  information  con- 
cerning men  and  events  in  northern  Illinois. 

"Rockford  Today"  is  an  attractive  volume  is- 
sued in  1904  by  the  Rockford  Morning  Star  Com- 


l)any.  It  is  historical,  descriptive  and  biograph- 
ical. It  is  printed  on  calendered  paper,  and  the 
illustrations  arc  most  excellent. 


ROCKFORD    FURNITURE    IXDU.STRY. 

Rockford  ranks  third  among  the  cities  of  the 
L'nited  States  in  the  manufacturing  of  furniture. 
It  is  surpassed  only  in  this  respect  by  Qiicago  and 
Grand  Rapids.  This  industry  has  been  entirely 
developed  since  the  Civil  war.  There  were,  how- 
ever, individuals  who  made  furniture  in  a  small 
way  at  a  much  earlier  ])eriod. 

Thomas  Johnson,  an  English  cabinet-maker, 
came  to  Rockford  in  1837.  He  is  the  first  man 
of  whom  there  is  any  record  who  depended  en- 
tirely for  a  livelihood  on  the  manufacture  of  fur- 
niture in  this  city.  He  occupied  a  basement  room 
in  the  old  Rockford  House,  which  was  kept  by 
Henrv  Thurston.  Mr.  Johnson  had  no  machin- 
erv.  -Ml  his  work  was  done  by  hand,  and  his  s]jc- 
cialties  were  ottomans,  chairs  and  tables.  He 
later  removed  from  the  city. 

From  that  time  there  was  no  regular  manufac- 
turer of  furniture  in  Rockford  until  1853.  In  that 
year  the  first  factory  for  this  purpose  was  erected 
between  Sixth  and  Seventh  streets,  near  Fourth 
avciuie,  bv  William  Silsbe  and  Abraham  Deyo. 
The  liuilding  was  called  a  factory,  although  it 
had  very  little  machinery.  It  was  a  two-story 
structure,  located  in  a  section  then  known  as  "the 
woods."  The  timber  used  in  making  the  furni- 
ture was  obtained  by  hewing  down  large  native 
trees  which  surrounded  it.  The  firm  had  an  of- 
fice and  salesroom  on  South  First  street,  between 
State  and  Walnut,  in  the  frame  structure  now  oc- 
curred by  E.  J.  Welch  as  a  livery  stable,  .\bout  a 
dozen  men  were  emi)loyed.  The  enterprise  was 
not  very  successful,  and  the  firm  dissolved. 

Charles  Burpee,  a  brother  of  the  late  A.  C. 
Burpee,  who  lived  in  a  building  called  the  "Pep- 
perbox" on  South  First  street,  made  a  small 
amount  of  furniture  in  the  office  rooms  of  Silsbe 
&  Deyo,  after  the  dissolution  of  that  firm. 

A.  C.  Burpee  was  one  of  the  pioneer  furniture 
men  of  Rockford,  although  he  was  not  a  manu- 
facturer. He  came  to  Rockford  in  1853,  and  was 
for  a  time  a  salesman  in  Silsbe  &  Deyo's  store. 
He  opened  a  furniture  store  in  a  frame  building 
which  stood  on  or  near  the  site  of  Harry  B.  P.ur- 
pee's  store  on  West  State  street.  In  1857  Wil- 
liam Werner  became  a  partner,  and  the  finn  con- 
tinued until  about  i860,  when  the  firm  name  was 
changed  to  Burpee  &  Groneman.  Mr.  Grone- 
Tuan  retired  in  1871,  and  the  business  has  since 
been  conducted  by  the  Burpee  family. 

In  1854  Peter  Marshall  made  walnut  tables  in 
his  cariHMiter's  shop  on  the  northwest  comer  of 
State  and  Wyman  streets,  where  he  was  in  busi- 
ness for  manv  vears. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


109 


R.  Cook  &  Co.,  the  predecessors  of  J.  B. 
]\Iarsh  &  Co.,  in  1854  began  on  a  small  scale  the 
manufacture  of  tables,  mattresses  and  upholstered 
goods.  The  firm  occupied  the  second  floor  of  a 
building  which  stood  on  the  site  of  F.  J.  Leon- 
ard's block  on  East  State  street.  All  the  goods 
were  sold  in  the  city,  and  the  firm  is  reported  to 
have   succeeded   fairly   well. 

John  Nelson,  a  native  of  Sweden,  came  to 
Rockford  in  1852.  He  was  an  inventive  genius, 
and  in  early  life  had  paid  especial  attention  to 
designing  and  model-making.  He  worked  for  a 
time  for  William  Ghent,  who  had  a  shop  on  the 
water-power.  In  1865  he  formed  a  partnership 
with  -\ndrew  C.  Johnson  and  Gust  Hollem  in  the 
manufacturing  of  sash,  doors  and  blinds.  IVIr. 
Johnson  learned  the  cabinet-maker's  trade  in 
Rockford,  and  after  Mr.  Nelson  and  Mr.  Hollem 
had  retired  from  the  firm  in  1869,  he  conducted 
the  business  as  sole  proprietor  on  the  water-power 
and  began  in  a  small  way  the  manufacture  of  fur- 
niture. In  1872  he  formed  a  partnership  with  J. 
P.  Anderson.  It  was  during  the  existence  of  this 
firm  that  the  late  Jonas  Peters,  then  a  traveling 
salesman,  induced  the  firm  to  extend  its  business 
by  the  manufacture  of  new  lines  of  goods,  and  to 
Mr.  Peters  is  due  in  no  small  degree  the  honor  of 
first  promoting  the  fu  niture  industry  outside  of 
the  local  market.  Mr.  Peters  had  been  engaged 
in  the  retail  furniture  trade  in  Belvidere  before 
coming  to  Rockford. 

In  1873  L.  D.  Upson  was  admitted  as  a  third 
member  of  the  firm,  and  a  factory  on  the  site  of 
the  Central  furniture  plant  was  erected.  Mr. 
Johnson  retired,  and  E.  L.  Herrick  became  a 
member  of  the  firm,  which  was  known  as  Upson 
&  Herrick.  The  factory  of  Upson  &  Herrick 
was  destroyed  by  fire  January  21.  1877.  William 
N.  Upson,  a  watchman,  and  a  brother  of  the 
senior  member  of  the  firm,  lost  his  life. 

Ellsworth  &  Parker  began  the  manufacture  of 
furniture  on  a  small  scale  in  Bartlett's  stone  feed 
house  on  the  water-power  in  1873.  The  firm  had 
some  machinery,  but  the  enterprise  did  not  last 
more  than  a  year  or  two.  when  the  firm  went  to 
Chicago. 

A.  C.  Johnson,  upon  leaving  the  water-power, 
in  company  with  J.  P.  Anderson,  established  an 
independent  business  in  a  building  at  the  comer 
of  Railroad  avenue  and  Seventh  street.  In  1874 
the  late  Gilbert  Woodruff  became  interested  in 
this  industry,  and  in  that  year  the  Forest  City 
Furniture  Company  was  organized.  It  is,  there- 
fore, the  real  pioneer  in  the  manufacture  of  furni- 
ture on  a  large  scale  in  Rockford.  A  four-story 
brick  building  was  erected  on  Railroad  avenue. 
Gilbert  A\'oodruff  was  president  of  the  company ; 
Charles  H.  Keith,  secretary  and  treasurer,  and  A, 
C.  Johnson,  superintendent.  Mr.  Keith  died  in 
December,  1877,  and  was  succeeded  as  secretary 
by  Lvon  P.  Ross.     He  invented  the  Ross  folding 


bed,  Ross  perfection  desk  and  the  Ross  combina- 
tion wash-stand,  wdiich  proved  good  sellers.  His 
close  attention  to  business  affairs  weakened  his 
nervous  system  and  hastened  his  death.  While 
attending  a  national  convention  of  furniture  man- 
ufacturers in  Grand  Radips,  February  16,  1889, 
he  was  taken  suddenly  ill,  and  in  one  week  from 
that  time  passed  away.  Mr.  Ross  w-as  succeeded 
by  R.  W.  Emerson.  W.  F.  Woodruff"  succeeded 
his  father,  Gilbert  Woodruff',  as  president ;  V.  D. 
Woodruff  is  vice-president ;  C.  A.  Clark,  secre- 
tary and  treasurer.  J.  P.  Anderson  died  a  short 
time  ago  in  Beatrice,  Nebraska. 

The  success  of  the  Forest  City  quickened  the 
ambition  of  other  practical  men.  The  Union  Fur- 
niture company  was  organized  in  1876.  The  pro- 
moters were  Jonas  Peters,  John  Erlander,  John 
Pehrson  and  James  Sundquist.  P.  A.  Peterson, 
who  was  then  about  to  graduate  from  a  local  busi- 
ness college,  was  chosen  secretary.  This  was  the 
beginning  of  the  business  career  of  one  of  the 
most  remarkable  men  who  ever  resided  in  this 
city,  and  who  is  to-day  the  great  organizing  genius 
of  the  furniture  industry  in  Rockford.  The 
Union  factory  was  situated  where  the  Emerson 
company's  blacksmith  shop  now  stands.  In  1889 
this  building  was  destroyed  bv  fire.  A  new  plant 
was  erected  on  Eighteenth  avenue. 

The  Central  Furniture  company  was  organized 
in  January,  1879.  The  promoters  were  S.  A. 
Johnson.  L.  M.  Noling,  August  Peterson,  August 
P.  Floberg,  A.  G.  Johnson,  Peter  Parson,  H.  F. 
Peterson,  A.  N.  Noling.  J.  R.  Anderson,  P.  J. 
Friberg  and  Samuel  Lundin.  The  original  capi- 
tal stock  w-as  $22,500.  The  company  purchased 
the  stone  structure  on  the  water-power  owned  by 
Upson  &  Herrick. 

The  Rockford  Co-Operative  Furniture  com- 
pany was  organized  in  July,  1880.  Its  original 
capital  stock  was  $25,000,  divided  into  shares  of 
$100  each.  The  company  was  prosperous  until  the 
great  financial  depression  of  1893,  and  for  some 
years  thereafter  the  plant  was  practically  closed. 
Qiarles  J.  Lundberg  subsequently  purchased  the 
interest  of  the  company,  and  again  placed  it  on  a 
money-making  basis. 

The  Rockford  Chair  and  Furniture  company 
was  organized  in  1880.  Its  officers  are:  C.  A. 
Newman,  president :  Andrew  Shelgren,  vice-presi- 
dent :  Robert  C.  Lind,  secretary  and  treasurer. 
The  company  really  operates  two  establishments, 
known  as  plant  A  and  plant  B.  These  are  sepa- 
rated by  a  distance  of  about  two  miles.  The  floor 
space  occupied  by  plant  A  is  about  125.000  square 
feet.  Plant  B  has  a  floor  area  of  150,000  square 
feet.  The  firm  does  an  annual  business  of  half  a 
million  dollars,  and  its  territory  includes  the  en- 
tire United  States,  Canada  and   Mexico. 

The  Mechanics'  Furniture  company  was  organ- 
ized in  1890.  L.  M.  Noling  is  president;  Emil 
Engberg,    vice-president ;   A.    P.    Floberg,    treas- 


1  lO 


PAST     A\n     TRESEXT     OF     WI.WEBAGO     COUNTY. 


urer ;  J.  August  Johnson,  secretary.  The  com- 
pany's plant  covers  two  acres  of  ground,  at  the 
corner  of  Seminary  and  Keith  streets.  The  for- 
eign trade  takes  a  fair  jiroportion  of  its  annual 
output.    Tlic  sales  reach  about  S180.000  annually. 

The  Standard  Furniture  company  was  organ- 
ized in  1887.  The  officers  are:  P.  .\.  Peterson, 
president;  F.  E.  Lundgren.  vice-jjresident ;  J.  E. 
Swanson,  secretary  and  treasurer,  and  (Jscar 
Warner,  superintendent.  The  plant  has  a  floor 
space  of  over   ioo,ocx:>  square  feet. 

The  West  End  Furniture  company  was  organ- 
ized July  7,  i8t>o.  with  a  cajiital  stock  of  $50,000. 
C.  R.  Slower  is  jiresident ;  (^scar  Day.  vice-presi- 
dent; J.  H.  Eynn,  secretary  and  treasurer.  Mr. 
Lynn  is  also  manager,  and  gives  his  entire  at- 
tention to  the  supervision  of  the  plant.  The  an- 
nual output  is  about  $225,000.  The  line  of  man- 
ufacture includes  both  medium  and  fine  grades  of 
desks,  buffets,  bookcases,  folding  beds  and  tables. 

The  Rockford  Mantel  company  was  organized 
in  i(p2.  P.  .\.  Peterson  is  president :  ().  I>.  Huey, 
vice-president ;  C.  .\.  Hult,  secretary  and  treas- 
urer ;  F.  O.  Lind,  superintendent.  The  factory  is 
a  four-story  brick  building,  with  basement,  and 
has  a  floor  space  of  57,000  square  feet.  The  firm 
employs  about  one  hundred  operators,  and  manu- 
factures wood  mantels  and  furniture  of  various 
designs.  A  market  is  found  in  the  L'nited  States, 
Mexico  and  Canada. 

Other  furniture  companies  now  doing  business 
are : 

Rockford  Palace  Furniture  company. 

Rockford  Frame  and  Fixture  company. 

East  Rockford  Mantel  company. 

Royal  Mantel  company. 

.^kandia  Furniture  company. 

Rockford  Desk  company. 

These  make  a  total  of  sixteen  plants  now  in 
oi)eration  in  the  city. 

Of  this  list  the  Skandia  has  the  largest  single 
plant,  but  the  Rockford  Giair  and  Furniture 
company,  with  its  two  separate  plants,  is  probably 
able  to  put  out  more  than  any  other  one  concern 
in  the  city. 

Several  other  factories  have  been  built  from 
time  to  time  that  are  not  now  in  operation.  The 
Excelsior,  Phoenix.  Rockford  Cabinet  and  Dia- 
mond were  burned  and  never  rebuilt.  The  Amer- 
ican Star  and  Palace  Folding  P.ed  com])any  failed 
and  did  not  resume.  The  financial  panic  of  i8<)3 
was  a  terrible  disaster  to  the  Rockford  industry, 
but  the  larger  number  of  them  finally  weathered 
the  storm. 

In  the  sixteen  factories  now  in  operation,  near- 
ly tour  thousand  men  earn  their  daily  bread. 
Xearly  one-fourth  of  Rockford's  great  colony  of 
workingmen  find  their  cm])loyment  within  these 
sixteen  plants.  This  fact  gives  to  some  extent 
an  idea  of  the  great  value  of  the  industry  to  the 
citv. 


The  payroll  is  .something  enormous.  From 
one  million  to  one  million  five  hundred  thousand 
dollars  is  paid  annually  to  these  workmen,  the 
amount  depending  largely  u])on  the  extent  of 
business  during  the  season. 

To  run  these  sixteen  plants  almut  $3,275,000  of 
Rockford  capital  is  utilized.  Practically  every 
cent  of  this  amount  was  furnished  by  the  humble 
workinginan,  who,  by  his  frugality  and  good  busi- 
ness sense,  has  been  enabled  to  lay  by  enough  to 
purchase  a  few  shares  of  stix-k,  and  at  the  pres- 
ent time  he  is  enjoying  the  full  benefits  of  his  in- 
vestments. 

Xo  out-of-town  capitalist  holds  sway  over  this 
industry ;  no  trust  has  the  reins  to  close  or  open 
the  factories  at  its  will ;  but  all  is  done  by  Rock- 
ford men,  who  have  demonstrated  that  they  can 
coi)c  with  the  world  when  it  comes  to  finding  a 
market  for  the  goods  that  they  produce. 

Closely  allied  to  the  furniture  business  of  the 
city  are  a  number  of  concerns  only  organized 
within  the  past  few  years. 

There  are  the  Xational  Mirror  Plate  works, 
and  the  Rockford  Glass  P.ending  works,  both 
owned  by  men  who  are  backing  the  furniture 
plants,  and  which  concerns  supjily  much  of  the 
mirrors  and  glass  used  in  them.  The  Rockford 
-\rt  Glass  company  also  bears  a  close  relation  to 
the  furniture  industry. 

The  Union  Furniture  company  was  the  first  to 
organize  on  the  co-o])eralive  plan.  The  employes 
were  urged  to  save  their  earnings  and  invest  in 
the  company.  Other  factories  adopted  this  plan, 
but  it  was  not  altogether  successful,  and  it  has  to 
a  large  extent  been  abandoned.  The  capital  has 
become  more  centralized,  but  it  has  never  passed 
from  the  control  of  the  Rockford  men.  This  vast 
industry  is  capitalized  and  operated  almost  en- 
tirely by  Swedish-.Vmerican  citizens. 

THE    PT.VXO    INDrSTRV. 

During  the  Civil  w.ir  Julm  Wigell.  father  of  O. 
J.  Wigell.  and  Charles  Marske  conducted  a  melo- 
deon  factory  on  East  .State  street  in  a  frame  build- 
ing across  the  allev  from  the  Schmauss  meat  mar- 
ket. May  30,  1865,  this  building  and  contents 
were  destroyed  by  fire.  Mr.  Wigell,  however, 
resumed  business,  and  from  1865  to  1871  he  man- 
ufactured over  200  melodeons  and  reed  instru- 
ments. Quite  a  number  of  these  old  instruments 
are  still  in  the  city,  and  three  of  the  number  are 
now  owned  by  the  son.  Mr.  Wigell  also  com- 
pleted two  pianos  to  show  that  he  could  accom- 
plish this  work.  In  1871  Mr.  Wigell  completed 
a  contract  with  \\'alter  Trumbull  for  the  erection 
of  a  i^iano  factory.  These  plans  were  abandoned 
by  the  death  of  Mr.  Wigell.  which  occurred  in 
the  autumn  of  1871. 

Tn  1880  John  Loven.  residing  on  First  avenue, 
opposite  the  Henry  Freeman  school,  made  two 
pianos,  which  he  sold  at  large  ])rices. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


III. 


In  1891  Peter  Nelson  came  to  Rockford  from 
Qiicago  and  organized  the  Rockford  Piano  com- 
panv.  Its  plant  was  in  what  was  then  known  as 
the  Union  Shoe  company  s  iDuilding,  now  occu- 
pied bv  the  Union  Dairy  company.  1  he  firm  was 
short-lived,  and  failed  in  less  than  a  year. 

In  the  autumn  of  1 891  John  Anderson,  of  Erie, 
Pennsylvania,  came  to  Rockford  and  organized 
the  Anderson  Piano  company,  which  occupied  a 
part  of  the  Cream  City  mirror  plate  building.  The 
companv  failed  in  1892,  and  H,  N.  Starr  was 
appointed  assignee.  He  removed  the  finished  in- 
struments to  the  Hale  building,  on  Walnut  street, 
where  they  were  sold.  The  Anderson  piano  was 
subsequently  manufactured  at  ^linneapolis. 

The  Haddorft'  Piano  company  was  organized 
in  IQOI  by  P.  A.  Peterson.  It  is  capitalized  at 
$500,000,  and  is  entirely  financed  by  Rockford 
citizens.  The  instrument  is  named  in  honor  of 
C.  A.  Haddorfif,  a  native  of  Sweden.  He  is  an 
expert  in  this  line  of  business,  and  is  now  the 
general  superintendent  of  the  factory.  The  com- 
panv emplovs  about  300  men,  and  the  average 
dailv  output  is  from  fifteen  to  twenty  instruments. 

In  1899  the  Smith  &  Barnes  Piano  company, 
of  Chicago,  purchased  the  plant  of  the  Illinois 
Chair  company  in  the  north  end,  which  was  after- 
ward sold  to  George  K.  Barnes,  of  Rockford, 
who  established  the  Barnes  &  Son  Piano  com- 
panv in  1901,  and  manufactured  pianos  under  that 
name  until  February,  1904,  when  he  sold  the  plant 
to  the  Schumann  Piano  company,  which  removed 
its  manufacturing  interests  to  Rockford,  retain- 
ing a  Chicago  office  at  the  Republic  building.  The 
Schumann  Piano  company  is  incorporated  for 
$300,000,  and  has  a  daily  output  of  six  pianos. 
Its  officers  are:  W.  N.  Van  Matre,  president; 
C,  S.  Hockett,  vice-president ;  J.  W.  Van  Matre. 
treasurer :  C.  S.  ]\Iarsh,  secretary,  E.  K.  Barnes, 
mechanical  superintendent. 

The  Kurtz-Seeburg  company  is  one  of  the  late 
accessions  to  the  manufacturers  of  Rockford. 
Fred  K.  Kurtz,  a  native  of  New  York  city,  came 
to  Rockford  in  1903,  and  October  15th  of  that 
year  he  began  the  manufacture  of  piano  actions 
in  the  Union  Shoe  company  lauilding  at  Sixth 
street  and  Eleventh  avenue.  The  business  was 
small  at  first,  but  it  steadily  grew,  until  a  stock 
companv  was  organized,  with  P.  A.  Peterson  as 
president ;  Fred  K.  Kurtz,  vice-president  and  su- 
perintendent ;  John  Anderson,  secretary  and  treas- 
urer. In  April,  1905,  the  company  purchased  a 
plat  of  ground  on  Eighteenth  avenue  and  erected 
a  commodious  factory. 

The  latest  local  finn  to  contribute  in  any  way 
to  the  manufacture  of  pianos  is  the  Billings  com- 
pany, on  the  water-power.  This  firm  came  to 
Rockford  in  1905,  and  manufactures  a  metal 
flange. 


EDUCATIONAL  INSTITUTIONS. 

ROCKFORD    COLLEGE    FOR    WOMEN. 

As  early  as  1843  there  was  sorie  discussion  of 
the  need  of  a  college  for  the  upper  Rock  River 
valley.  A  general  convention  of  the  churches  of 
the  northwest  was  held  at  Cleveland,  Ohio,  in 
June,  1844,  at  which  education  received  much  at- 
tention. It  was  decided  that  a  college  and  a  fe- 
male seminary  should  be  founded  in  southern 
Wisconsin  and  northern  Illinois,  respectively,  A 
resolution  was  adopted  that  the  "exigencies  of 
Wisconsin  and  northern  Illinois  require  that  those 
sections  should  unite  in  establishing  a  college  and 
a  female  seminary  of  the  highest  order — one  in 
Wisconsin,  near  to  Illinois,  and  the  other  in  Illi- 
nois, near  to  Wisconsin."  The  delegates,  upon 
their  return,  called  a  convention  at  Beloit  in  Au- 
gust, 1844.  Three  subsequent  conventions  were 
held  at  Beloit,  because  it  was  believed  from  the 
first  that  the  college  should  be  located  at  that 
place.  The  resolution  of  the  first  convention, 
affirming  the  need  of  both  college  and  seminary, 
was  reaffirmed  in  these  subsequent  conventions, 
representing  especially  the  Presbyterian  and  Con- 
gregational ministry  and  churches  in  all  the  re- 
gion. The  union  of  these  two  churches  in  this 
movement  may  be  attributed  to  the  fact  that  each 
was  weak  as  it  stood  alone,  and  only  in  union  was 
there  strength.  At  the  fourth  convention,  held  at 
Beloit  in  October,  1845,  Beloit  was  selected  as 
the  seat  of  the  college,  and  a  board  of  triistees 
was  elected,  to  whom  was  committed  the  devel- 
opment of  both  institutions.  The  first  meeting  of 
the  trustees  was  held  the  same  month.  Upon  the 
original  board  were  Rev.  Aratus  Kent  and  Hon. 
Wait  Talcott.  The  charter  for  Beloit  College  was 
approved  by  the  governor  of  the  territory  of  Wis- 
consin. February  2,  1846.  Middle  College,  the 
first  building,  was  begun  in  the  autumn  of  that 
year. 

Then  began  the  discussion  of  a  site  for  the 
seminary.  Rockford  and  Rockton  were  rivals. 
But  Beloit  had  been  selected  for  the  college :  and 
from  the  Puritanical  point  of  view  of  those  days, 
Rockton  was  considered  not  a  desirable  distance 
for  a  college  for  young  ladies.  Thus  Rockford 
was  given  the  preference.  The  Rockford  Forum 
of  October  29.  1845,  published  a  call  for  a  meet- 
ing at  the  Methodist  church  on  Monday  evening, 
November  3d,  to  consider  the  location  of  the 
seminary.  This  call  was  signed  by  thirty-four 
citizens,  led  by  T.  D.  Robertson.  At  this  meet- 
ing it  was  resolved  to  attempt  to  raise  the  sum 
prescribed  bv  the  Beloit  trustees  as  necessary, 
about  $3,500.  A  committee  was  appointed  to  so- 
licit subscriptions,  consisting  of  Jason  Marsh, 
George  Haskell,  Willard  Wheeler,  Asa  Crosby, 


1 1. 


PAST     AND     I'RliSEXT     OF     WIXNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


Anson  S.  Miller,  P.  B.  Johnson  and  Horace 
Foote.  The  Forum  of  Novemhcr  5.  1845,  con- 
tains a  full  report  of  this  meeting,  also  a  lengthy 
editorial.  Citizens  pledged  the  required  amount. 
The  Forum  of  December  3d  mentions,  in  a  sketch 
of  the  city,  that  the  trustees  of  Beloit  College  have 
located  the  seminary  at  Rockford.  A  charter  was 
granted  February  25,  1847,  to  the  following  gen- 
tlemen as  incorporators :  Aratus  Kent.  D.  Clary, 
S.  Peet,  F.  Bascom,  C.  Waterburv,  S.  D.  Stevens. 
A.  L.  Chapin,  R.  M.  Pearson.  G.  \V.  Wilcox,  A. 
Ra\niiond.  C.  M.  Qoodsell,  E.  U.  Potter.  L.  G. 
Fisher.  Wait  Talcott,  Oiarles  S.  Hempstead  and 
Samuel  Hinman.  These  same  gentlemen  were 
the  incorporators  of  Beloit  College.  The  board  of 
trustees  was  to  consist  of  sixteen  members,  with 
power  to  increase  the  number  to  twenty-four. 
But  disasters  affecting  the  business  interests  of 
the  village  prevented  the  fulfillment  of  the  pledges 
which  had  been  made,  and  delayed  the  enterprise 
for  a  time ;  but  it  was  never  abandoned. 

Meanwhile.  June  11,  1849,  Miss  Anna  P.  Sill 
began  a  preparatory  school,  under  the  name  of 
the  Rockford  Female  Seminary.  The  recitations 
were  held  in  the  old  courthouse  building  on  Xorth 
First  street.  Miss  Sill  came  to  Rockford  from 
the  east,  with  the  expectation  that  her  school 
would  develop  into  the  seminary  which  had  been 
planned  by  the  trustees  of  Beloit.  This  prepara- 
tory school  was  not  the  seminary  proper,  but 
rather  its  forerunner,  and  entirely  under  local 
management.  Miss  .Sill  was  assisted  by  Misses 
Hannah  and  Eliza  Richards.  The  number  of 
pupils  the  first  term  was  seventy,  most  of  whom 
were  under  ten  years  of  age.  The  opening  of 
this  school  apparently  gave  an  impetus  to  the 
consummation  of  the  former  plans  for  a  semi- 
nary. The  trustees  were  Rev.  L.  H.  Loss.  Jason 
Marsh.  Anson  S.  Miller,  C.  A.  Huntington.  S. 
M.  Church,  Rev.  J.  C.  Parks,  Bela  Shaw.  T.  D. 
Robertson,  E.  H.  Potter.  Dr.  George  Haskell, 
Asa  Crosby.  The  academic  year  was  divided  into 
four  tenns  of  eleven  weeks  each. 

In  1850  the  citizens  again  made  pledges  ag- 
gregating more  than  five  tliousand  dollars,  for 
buildings,  and  the  ladies  pledged  one  thousand 
dollars  for  the  beautiful  grounds.  This  original 
subscrij>tion  list  is  still  in  existence,  though  eaten 
away  in  places.  It  was  found  among  the  papers 
of  the  late  Charles  H.  .SpafFord.  The  word  origi- 
nal is  here  used  Ijecause  the  subscriptions  of  1845- 
46  were  apparently  never  redeemed.  The  list  is 
probably  the  only  one  in  existence.  Thus  by  Sep- 
tember 18.  1850.  the  seminary  proper  was  as- 
sured as  a  permanent  institution  of  R(5ckford,  for 
the  higher  education  of  young  women. 

During  the  first  two  years  of  Miss  Sill's  resi- 
dence in  Rockford  she  continued  independently 
her  preparatory  school.  But  in  185 1  the  school 
was  formally  recognized  by  the  board  of  trustees 


of  Beloit  college  as  the  preparatory  department 
of  Rockford  female  seminary,  under  the  charter 
which  they  had  already  obtained.  Full  prepara- 
tory and  collegiate  courses  of  study  were  defined, 
and,  upon  examination,  fifteen  were  admitted  to 
the  first  collegiate  class  in  September  of  that  year. 
The  year  1851  is  thus  regarded  as  the  date  of  the 
founding  of  the  seminary,  according  to  the  origi- 
nal design.  The  recitations  were  conducted  in 
the  old  courthouse  building  already  noted.  The 
seminary  had  been  granted  full  collegiate  powers 
by  its  charter,  but  it  was  called  a  seminary,  as 
was  customary  for  such  institutions  at  that  time. 
Seven  of  this  first  class  of  1851  graduated  in 
1854.  Only  one.  Mrs.  William  Lathrop,  is  now 
a  resident  of  the  city.  The  course  then  covered 
three  years,  and  was  later  changed  to  four  years. 

The  present  college  grounds  were  purchased 
from  Buell  G.  Wheeler.  The  land  originally  ex- 
tended to  the  river,  but  a  portion  was  taken  by 
the  Giicago  &  Iowa  railroad.  The  property  was 
not  condemned,  as  the  trustees  preferred  to  sell 
rather  than  enter  into  any  controversy.  The 
grounds  never  extended  farther  east  or  north. 
They  were  never  enlarged,  and  were  reduced  only 
on  the  west.  The  deed  to  this  property  was  also 
found  among  Mr.  Spafford's  jwpers,  and  appar- 
ently had  never  left  his  possession.  The  reason 
therefor  may  be  explained.  Mr.  SpafFord  was 
county  recorder  at  the  time ;  he  was  also  a  trustee 
of  the  seminary  and  the  treasurer  of  the  board. 
The  document  would  thus  naturally  remain  in 
his  possession.  Tliis  deed  and  the  original  sub- 
scri])tion  list,  previously  noted,  were  presented 
to  the  college  at  the  last  commencement  season 
by  Mr.  Spafford's  family,  and  are  now  among 
its  permanent  records.  The  city  of  Rockford 
owes  a  debt  of  gratitude  to  three  of  its  early  citi- 
zens for  the  very  existence  of  this  institution.  At 
a  critical  moment  in  the  formative  period.  Charles 
H.  .SpafFord.  Eleazer  H.  Potter  and  Dr.  Lucius 
Clark  mortgaged  their  homes  and  raised  several 
thousand  dollars  to  insure  the  success  of  the  sem- 
inar}-. This  self-sacrifice  bv  these  gentlemen,  who 
had  faith  in  the  future  of  Rockford,  and  who  ap- 
preciated the  value  of  higher  education,  has  never 
been  properly  recognized,  for  the  apparent  reason 
that  their  course  has  not  been  generally  known. 

.\fter  the  purchase  of  the  grounds  Mr.  Wheeler 
said  they  were  sold  for  nnich  less  than  their  real 
value.  Airs.  Wheeler  was  deeply  interested  in  the 
success  of  the  seminary,  and  thus  the  property 
was  obtained  at  a  low  price.  Mr.  SpaflFord  also 
preserved  a  transcript  of  an  itemized  estimate  of 
the  cost  of  the  first  building,  made  by  John  Beat- 
tie.  This  document  called  for  an  outlay  of  seven 
thousand  nine  hundred  and  twenty-seven  dollars 
and  thirty-five  cents. 

July  15,  1852,  the  corner-stone  of  the  first 
building  was  laid  by  Rev.  Aratus  Kent,  president 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


"3 


of  tlie  board  of  trustees.  He  spoke  from  the 
words :  "That  our  daughters  may  be  as  corner- 
stones, poHshed  after  the  similitude  of  a  palace." 

After  the  acceptance  by  the  board  of  trustees 
of  the  financial  pledges  of  the  citizens  of  Rock- 
ford  in  1850,  it  was  deemed  best  that  each  insti- 
tution should  manage  its  own  affairs.  A  provi- 
sional local  board  appears  to  have  been  created  at 
this  time,  and  in  1S52  the  seminary  passed  into 
the  control  of  a  separate  board  of  trustees.  The 
principle  of  co-operation,  however,  continued  to 
prevail,  and  certain  gentlemen  were  on  the  official 
boards  of  the  college  and  the  seminary.  In  the 
lapse  of  years  this  number  gradually  diminished. 
The  first  formal  appointment  to  the  permanent 
faculty  of  the  seminary  was  made  in  July,  1852, 
when  Miss  Sill  was  elected  principal.  In  July, 
1854,  the  collegiate  course  was  divided  into  four 
departments :  ]\Iental  and  moral  philosophy, 
mathematics  and  natural  science,  history^  and  Eng- 
lish literature,  ancient  languages.  The  depart- 
ment of  mental  and  moral  philosophy  was  as- 
signed to  the  principal.  Aliss  Mary  \Miite  was 
chosen  teacher  in  mathematics  and  natural  sci- 
ence. 

In  1854  work  was  begun  on  Linden  hall,  the 
western  wing.  It  received  its  name  from  the  resi- 
dence of  one  of  its  New  England  friends.  From 
this  place  and  from  New  York  the  larger  part  of 
the  fund  was  obtained  for  its  construction.  In 
the  50s  Miss  Sill  raised  a  large  sum  of  money 
among-  her  eastern  friends,  especially  in  Boston, 
for  the  seminary,  apparently  to  raise  a  deficit.  Up 
to  September  8,  1854.  Miss  Sill  had  secured  in 
subscriptions  the  sum  of  three  thousand  six  hun- 
dred and  fifty-nine  dollars  and  sixty-seven  cents. 
This  fact  appears  from  a  financial  statement  made 
by  Charles  H.  Spafford.  According  to  the  Rock- 
ford  Democrat  of  August  I,  1854.  Mr.  Milwain 
was  the  architect  of  Linden  hall,  and  the  plans 
and  specifications  called  for  an  addition  forty-one 
by  sixty-four  feet,  and  four  stories.  Linden  hall 
was  first  separate  from  Middle  hall,  and  then  con- 
nected by  a  frame  passageway. 

In  1866  a  second  addition.  Chapel  hall,  w'ith  its 
connecting  corridors,  was  begun,  and  completed 
two  years  later.  In  1871  Linden  hall  and  Middle 
hall  were  connected  by  a  corridor. 

Of  the  first  collegiate  class  admitted  in  185 1, 
seven  were  graduated  in  1854,  eight  in  1855,  six- 
teen in  1856.  ten  in  1857,  eleven  in  1858.  ten  in 
1859.  eleven  in  i860,  and  nine  in  1861,  a  total  of 
eighty-two  in  eight  years.  There  were  then  three 
departments — collegiate,  normal  and  academic. 
During  that  time  there  were  eighty-five  others 
who  entered  the  seminary,  but  did  not  complete 
the  course.  Forty-one  were  in  the  junior  class 
in  1861.  The  whole  number  who  shared  in  the 
instruction  of  the  collegiate  course  during  the 
first  ten  years  was  two  hundred  and  six.  One 
hundred  and  eightv-three  had  received  instruc- 
8 


tion  in  the  normal  course,  and  the  whole  number 
of  pupils  for  a  longer  or  shorter  time  connected 
with  the  institution,  including  the  preparatory 
courses,  from  the  beginning  in  1849  to  July,  1861, 
was  fifteen  hundred  and  thirty.  During  this  time 
there  was  contributed  to  the  seminary  from  all 
sources  the  sum  of  thirty-nine  thousand  two  hun- 
dred and  twenty-eight  dollars. 

In  the  winter  of  1886  Sill  hall  was  completed. 
This  building,  erected  at  a  cost  of  $15,000,  with 
funds  almost  entirely  provided  by  the  citizens  of 
Rockford,  contains  the  gjinnasium  on  the  second 
floor  and  the  music  rooms  on  the  first  floor. 

This  completes  the  number  of  edifices  erected 
during  Miss  Sill's  lifetime.  For  the  sake  of  clear- 
ness and  completeness  in  this  connection,  it  is  to 
be  noted  that  in  the  fall  of  1892  Adams  hall  was 
opened.  This  is  a  fine,  modern  edifice,  costing 
about  $35,000.  Of  this  sum  Mr.  J.  L.  Adams,  of 
Chicago,  contributed  a  large  portion,  and  the  re- 
mainder was  chiefly  given  by  the  citizens  of  Rock- 
ford.  It  contains  all  the  laboratories  and  a  num- 
ber of  large,  well-lighted  recitation  rooms.  The 
upper  floor  is  occupied  by  the  studio. 

In  1891  Memorial  hall,  a  residence  for  stu- 
dents, was  given  as  a  memorial  to  Ralph  Emer- 
son, Jr.  This  completes  the  list  of  structures  used 
for  the  institution. 

Having  become  the  first  principal  of  the  semi- 
nary in  1849,  Miss  Sill  filled  that  position  until 
the  summer  of  1884,  when  she  resigned,  but  as 
principal  emerita  she  retained  her  connection  with 
the  school,  when  she  died  under  the  roof  that  her 
own  strength  and  devotion  had  reared. 

JMiss  Sill  was  followed  by  ^liss  Alartha  Hillard 
(now  Mrs.  Martha  Hillard  MacLeish),  who  was 
principal  of  Rockford  seminary  from  1884  to 
1888.  Her  genial  personality  did  much  to  increase 
the  social  power  01  the  school,  both  at  home  and 
abroad,  and  the  regret  felt  when  her  marriage 
caused  her  resignation  was  universal  and  very 
sincere. 

Miss  Anna  Gelston  was  the  next  in  the  suc- 
cession, 1888-1890;  but  her  fragile  health  com- 
pelled her  to  relinquish  the  task  in  two  years. 

Miss  Sarah  F.  Anderson  (now  Mrs.  Sarah  An- 
derson Ainsworth)  became  acting  principal  in 
1890.  and  principal  in  1 89 1,  a  position  she  con- 
tinued to  occupy  until  1896.  Miss  Anderson 
graduated  from  the  normal  department  of  the 
seminary  in  1869,  and  for  many  years  acted  as 
financial  secretary  before  she  became  principal, 
and  her  wise  financial  management  forms  one  of 
the  striking  features  of  her  administration.  The 
whole  body  of  alumnae  knew  her  well,  and  were 
deeply  attached  to  her.  Through  her  efforts  and 
those  of  Miss  Jane  Addams,  who  accompanied 
her  in  a  trip  abroad,  an  unusually  fine  collection 
of  photographs  was  secured  for  the  art  depart- 
ment. 

When  Miss  Anderson  resigned  to  be  married  in 


114 


PAST     A\l)     I'Kl'.SEXT     OF     WIXXKliAllO     COl'XTY. 


1896,  Miss  Phebc  T.  Siitliff  was  made  president 
of  Rockford  collejje,  ami  coiitiinied  in  that  office 
until  1901.  Miss  Siitliff  bent  all  her  energies  to- 
ward raising  the  standard  of  scholarship,  and.  as 
a  result  of  her  efforts,  the  whole  tone  of  the  insti- 
tution changed  for  the  better  in  this  reS])ect. 

For  some  time  jirevious  to  Miss  Sutliff's  ad- 
ministration, the  trustees  had  been  working  stead- 
ily to  make  Rockford  a  woman's  college  of  the 
first  rank.     In   1882  a  collegiate  course  of  study 
was  added  to  the  seminary  curriculum,  and  since 
then   all    students   who   have   done    the   requisite 
amount  of  work  have  received  the  degree  of  A.  i>. 
In  June.  t8<)I.  the  board  of  trustees  clecideil  to 
discontinue    the    seminary    course,    and    in    June. 
1892,   the    name   of    the    institution    was    legally 
changed    from    Rockford    semin;uy    to    Rockford 
college,  in  order  that  the  title  might  represent  the 
work  done.     The  last  seminary  graduates  belong 
to  the  class  of  1895.     Begining  with  the  class  of 
1896.  all  graduates  have  been  college  graduates. 
On    Miss    Sutliff's    resignation    in    igoi.    Miss 
Emily  K.   Reynolds  was  elected  president.     Un- 
fortunately.   Miss    Reynold's   health    broke   down 
before  she  had  scarcely  begun  her  work,  and  she 
was  obliged  to  leave  Rockford  after  only  two  or 
three   months    of    residence.      Even    during    this 
short  space  of  time,  however,  she  made  her  influ- 
ence felt  in  establishing  a  system  of  self-govern- 
ment at  the  college  and  in  helping  to  beautify  the 
college  home.     On  Miss  Reynold's  resignation,  in 
1902.   Miss  Julia  Gulliver  was  elected  president, 
and  she  now  holds  that  position. 

In  1903-4  there  were  155  students  and  a  facul- 
ty of  twenty.  The  number  of  the  faculty  in  pro- 
portion to  the  number  of  students  is  so  unusually 
large  that  it  will  at  once  attract  attention  as  guar- 
anteeing an  amount  of  personal  care  for  the  indi- 
vidual students  that  is  impossible,  savi'  un<ler  just 
these  conditions.  The  heads  of  the  different  de- 
partments arc  all  trained  specialists,  and  in  gen- 
eral the  instructors  have  done  advanced  work 
above  their  college  degrees.  It  may  be  added 
that  the  relation  of  genial  and  sympathetic  com- 
panionship between  the  faculty  and  students  is 
one  of  Rock  ford's  distinguished  characteristics. 

All  through  its  history  Rockford  college  has 
been  blessed  in  its  trustees.  Thev  have  been 
broad-minded  men  and  women,  who  have  counted 
not  life  itself  dear  unto  them  in  their  devoted  la- 
Ixirs  for  the  best  interests  of  the  institution.  Pro- 
gressive, clear-sighterl.  courageous,  they  have 
laid  its  foundation  in  heroic  self-sacrifice;  they 
have  reared  its  walls  in  honor.  The  present  board 
worthily  represents  a  long  line  of  illustrious  pred- 
ecessors. Whatever  can  be  contributed  in  the 
wav  of  money,  time,  professional  knowledge, 
business  sagacity  and  vital  interest  is  given  freely. 
The  marked  musical  iire-cminence  of  the  city 
also  had  its  origin  and  ins])iration  in  tlie  musical 


department  of  the  college,  notably  during  the 
years  when  Professor  D.  X.  Hood  had  it  in 
charge  ( 1 858- 1 895 ) . 

The  commencement  of  1904  marked  the  fiftieth 
anniversary  of  the  class  of  1854.  the  first  graduat- 
ing class.  There  were  seven  of  them,  and  all 
were  living,  and  all  were  present  to  celebrate  the 
occasion.  An  almost  uni^recedented  event  in  the 
annals  of  any  college  this — that  a  graduating  class 
should  reach  the  half-century  mark  with  its  num- 
ber unbroken,  and  for  all  those  connected  with 
Rockford  college  the  conunencement  of  1904  will 
always  be  hallowed  by  the  presence  of  these  noble 
souls  who  had  for  man\-  years  fought  the  good 
fight  and  kept  the  faith. 

line  uocKroKo  fuicic  rrMi.ic  library. 

The  Rockforil  jjublic  library  is  believed  to  be 
the  first  one  established  in  the  state,  outside  of 
Chicago,  under  the  present  library  law.  In  May, 
1872.  a  petition  was  presented  to  the  city  council, 
signed  bv  jirominent  citizens  of  Rockford.  repre- 
senting all  classes  of  its  inhabitants.  ])raying  for 
the  organization  of  a  free  public  library  and  read- 
ing room.  The  council  promptly  passed  an  ordi- 
nance, which  was  approved  June  17.  1872.  It 
provided,  however,  that  "no  indebtedness  or  lia- 
l)ility  shall  be  allowed,  or  contracted  against  the 
said  city,  or  the  "library  fund'  of  said  city,  for 
anv  of  the  contingent  or  running  expenses  of  said 
librarv  and  reading  room,  until  after  the  first  dav 
of  March.  A.  D.  1873." 

On  the  very  day  the  library  ordinance  was  ap- 
proved. Mayor  Seymour  G.  Bronson  appointed 
the  following  named  gentlemen,  the  first  hoard  of 
directors  of  the  public  librarv:  Melancthon 
Starr.  Elias  Cosper.  S.  C.  \\' ithrow.  D.  S.  Clark. 
Rev.  F.  P.  Woodbury.  Rev.  H.  C.  Mahie.  \.  C. 
Thom])son.  J.  ( J.  Knapji  and  Charles  L.  Wil- 
liams. The  board  was  organized  with  the  elec- 
tion of  X.  C.  Thompson  as  president  and  Major 
Cosper  as  secretary.  Of  this  original  board  only 
Mr.  Withrow  and  Mr.  Williams  are  now  resi- 
dents of  the  city.  Dr.  Mabic  resides  in  Bo.ston, 
and  Dr.  \\'oodbnrv  has  headquarters  in  \^cw 
York. 

tender  the  restrictions  of  the  ordinance  there 
were  no  iniblic  funds  available  for  the  founding 
and  maintenance  of  the  library.  Its  immediate 
support  nuist  therefore  come  from  individual  sub- 
scrijitions.  The  board  of  directors  issued  a  gen- 
eral invitation  for  a  imblic  reception  to  be  held 
Tulv  30th.  Its  i)ur|)ose  was  to  afford  the  directors 
an  o])pf>rtunity  to  make  a  report  of  what  had 
alreadv  been  done,  and  to  consult  with  reference 
to  future  action.  At  that  meeting  it  was  resolved 
to  raise  by  private  subscription  a  fund  of  $5,000, 
to  supplement  the  limited  sum  to  be  raised  by  the 
tax  lew.  which  woulrl  not  be  available  for  some 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


"5 


time.  Subscriptions  exceeding  $2,000  were  made. 
Among  the  most  liberal  contributors  were : 
Thomas  D.  Robertson,  $500 ;  Emerson  &  Tal- 
cott,  $500 ;  Melancthon  Starr,  $200 ;  Elias  Gos- 
per, $40 ;  N.  C.  Thompson,  $200 :  Selden  AL 
Church,  $50 ;  S.  C.  Withrow,  $50 ;  Wm.  Lathrop, 
$100. 

The  outlook  was  not  promising,  but  the  citi- 
zens were  determined  to  have  a  librar_v,  and  ac- 
cording to  their  faith,  so  it  was  given  unto  them. 
Dr.  Woodbury  and  Melancthon  Starr  had  been 
appointed  a  committee  to  prepare  an  address  to 
the  citizens.  It  is  no  disparagement  of  the  work 
of  others  to  say  that  the  most  zealous  supporter 
of  the  project  was  the  late  Major  Elias  Cosper. 
He  solicited  funds  and  books,  and  many  of  the 
valuable  works  of  reference  in  the  early  library 
came  from  his  private  collection.  Major  Cospe'" 
earned  the  distinction  of  "Father  of  the  library," 
a  title  given  hmi  by  the  late  W.  L.  Rowland. 
Alajor  Cosper  served  on  the  board  twenty  years. 
The  official  records  of  June  27,  1892,  show  a  reso- 
lution of  thanks,  introduced  by  A.  D.  Farlv.  for 
his  long  and  distinguished  service. 

Three  rooms  were  leased  on  the  second  floor  of 
the  \\^allach  block,  which  stood  on  the  site  of  the 
present  Ashton  block.  The  annual  rental  was 
$350.  July  30  Miss  Mary  E.  Rankin  was  en- 
gaged temporarily  as  librarian.  The  reading 
rooms  were  open  to  the  public  August  i.  1872, 
with  a  goodly  number  of  daih"  and  weekly  news- 
papers, magazines  and  reviews. 

September  2d,  Thomas  M.  Martin  was  ten- 
dered the  appointment  of  permanent  librarian.  A 
few  days  later  Mr.  Martin  reported  that  he  could 
not  accept  the  position,  and  September  17,  1872. 
the  board  engaged  William  L.  Rowland  to  fill 
the  place. 

On  the  first  day  of  February,  1873,  the  library 
was  open  to  the  public  for  the  issue  of  books  for 
home  use.  The  first  catalogue  of  eighty-six  pages 
was  printed  a  few  months  later. 

Miss  Frank  I.  Edson  entered  the  library  as  an 
assistant  in  March,  1873.  In  September  follow- 
ing she  was  succeeded  by  Miss  Elizabeth  J.  Wil- 
liamson, who  remained  eighteen  years,  until  the 
autumn  of  1891.  Aliss  Nellie  Rose  was  then  ap- 
pointed assistant  librarian,  and  served  several 
years. 

The  first  annual  report  of  the  board  of  direct- 
ors, made  June  I,  1873,  showed  that  $1,773.11 
had  been  received  on  private  subscriptions  up  to 
that  date,  with  $2,160.50  still  unpaid:  making  a 
total  of  $3,933.61.  There  were  on  that  date 
2,815  volumes  in  the  library.  Of  this  number 
1,603  were  donations.  There  were  ninety-one 
periodicals  in  the  reading  room. 

The  lil)rarian"s  report  showed  that  for  the  first 
four  months,  ending  May  31,  1,252  cards  had 
been  issued  to  borrowers.  The  total  circulation 
for  the  same  period  was  8,777. 


The  first  tax  levy  for  library  purposes  was  ap- 
proved September  16,  1872,  and  was  fixed  at  one 
mill  on  the  dollar,  which  was  the  statutory 
maximum.  This  tax  yielded  a  library  fund  of 
only  $2,164,  a  sum  quite  inadequate  to  the  needs 
of  the  institution.  The  second  tax  levy,  approved 
November  3,  1873,  was  only  three-tenths  of  a 
mill  on  the  dollar.  The  modest  sum  of  $2,849.79 
was  realized.  The  lew  for  1874  was  $3,500 ;  and 
for  1875,  $3,411.33. 

The  library  remained  in  the  Wallach  block  until 
June,  1876,  when  the  books  were  removed  to  a 
part  of  the  second  floor  of  the  block  just  com- 
pleted by  Church,  Robertson  &  Emerson.  This 
lilock  is  now  occupied  in  part  by  the  Register- 
( iazette  company.  The  rental  was  $500  per 
annum. 

In  1890  it  was  decided  that  it  would  be  wise 
to  open  the  reading  room  three  hours  Sunday 
afternoon,  for  the  accommodation  of  those  who 
were  without  homes,  or  who  were  unable  to  visit 
the  library  during  the  week.  The  first  response 
was  not  very  general,  but  time  has  vindicated  the 
wisdom  of  such  action. 

In  1892  Mayor  Starr  made  an  innovation  by 
the  appointment  of  three  ladies  on  the  board  of 
directors.  These  were  Mrs.  Marie  T.  Perry,  Mrs. 
Clara  G.  Sanford,  and  Miss  Sarah  Anderson, 
then  president  of  Rockford  College. 

For  twenty-seven  years  the  library  remained  in 
these  quarters.  Its  growth  and  educational  im- 
portance kept  pace  with  the  rapid  advance  of  the 
city  in  population  and  commercial  importance. 
In  1896  the  library  board  leased  the  entire  second 
story  of  the  building,  which  nearly  doubled  the 
floor  area. 

The  card  catalogue  for  public  use  was  placed 
in  the  delivery  room  in  September,  1897.  In  it 
were  entered  all  books  received  since  the  publi- 
cation of  the  printed  supplement  to  the  catalogue 
in  1894.  This  was  superseded  in  1902  by  a  com- 
plete directory  catalogue  of  the  entire  contents  of 
the  librarv. 

During  the  autumn  of  1898  the  library  board 
voted  to  spend  a  portion  of  the  annual  appropri- 
ation in  the  purchase  of  books  to  be  placed  in 
certain  schools  of  the  city.  The  Rockford  library 
was  one  of  the  first  in  Illinois  to  place  libraries 
in  the  public  schools.  The  inauguration  of  this 
plan  of  reaching  the  youth  of  the  city  came  from 
an  address  by  j\Irs.  Marie  T.  Perry,  then  a  mem- 
ber of  the  board  of  directors,  before  the  Rockford 
Federation  of  W^omen's  clubs.  Mrs.  Perry's  ad- 
dress so  well  incorporated  the  salient  features  of 
the  proposed  work  that  from  her  ideas  a  resolu- 
tion was  drafted  and  presented  to  the  board  by 
Henry  S.  Whipple.  A  committee  was  appointed 
composed  of  Airs.  Perry,  Librarian  Rowland,  H. 
S.  Whipple  and  Prof.  O.  F.  P)arbour,  who  were 
authorized  to  select  a  suitable  list  of  books. 
January   5,    1899,   libraries   were  placed   in   nine- 


no 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


teen  school  rooms,  and  himiary  lylli  four  more 
schools  were  siipi)lied.  The  total  circulation  of 
these  lx)oks  for  the  four  and  one-half  months 
of  the  fiscal  year  ending  May  31,  1899,  was 
9.808.  The  report  of  the  librarian  for  the  year 
ending  May  31,  1903,  showed  that  forty-four 
school  libraries  had  been  in  use  during  the  year, 
witii  a  total  of  1.726  volumes,  and  a  circulation 
of  25.398.  On  account  of  delay  in  placing  the 
books  in  that  year,  occasioned  by  removal  to  the 
new  Carnegie  building,  the  circulation  for  1903 
was  only  16.929. 

Another  effort  to  reach  the  youth  of  the  city 
was  the  publication  in  June.  1899,  of  a  catalogue 
of  juvenile  literature.  Copies  were  distributed  to 
the  scholars  in  grades  four  to  eight.  They  were 
also  given  to  other  children  over  ten  years  of  age. 
This  carefully  .selected  list  largely  increased  the 
use  of  books  by  children. 

In  August.  1900.  by  the  death  of  Andrew  M. 
Potter,  of  Philadelphia,  a  native  of  Rockford.  and 
a  veteran  of  the  Seventy-fourth  Illinois  Infantry, 
the  library  was  enriched  by  the  accession  of  446 
vt>lunies  of  history  pertaining  to  the  Civil  war. 
The  Rockford  library  now  has  one  of  the  most 
complete  collections  of  works  in  Illinois  on  the 
Civil  war,  outside  of  Chicago. 

.September  27.  1900,  Mr.  Rowland  jiassed  away 
after  a  brief  illness.  I-'or  twenty-eight  years  he 
had  been  the  efficient  librarian  and  his  death  was 
mourned  as  a  great  loss  to  the  i)ublic. 

In  January.  1901.  the  board  of  directors  ad- 
vanced Miss  Jane  P.  Hubbell  to  the  position  of 
librarian.  She  had  been  first  assistant  for  several 
years. 

One  of  the  notable  events  of  the  years  1901-02 
was  the  reorganization  of  the  library  according 
to  more  modern  methods.  September  16.  1901. 
Miss  Mary  E.  Gale,  an  experienced  cataloguer, 
Ijcgan  the  work  of  reclassifying  and  cataloguing 
the  books,  according  to  the  decimal  classification. 
Miss  Gale  completed  her  work  in  November, 
1902,  after  fourteen  months  of  the  most  exacting 
labor. 

For  many  years  the  friends  of  the  public 
library  recognized  that  a  commodious,  fire-proof 
building  was  an  urgent  necessity.  The  city,  how- 
ever, could  not  build  it,  for  it  had  been  for  many 
years  up  to  the  statutory  limit  of  its  lx)nded  in- 
debtedness. When  it  became  known  that  Mr. 
Andrew  Carnegie  proposed  to  distribute  a  por- 
tion of  his  wealth  in  public  library  buildings,  an 
effort  was  made  to  enlist  his  interest  in  Rock- 
ford. Correspondence  Ix-gan  in  1899.  In  March. 
1901.  Mr.  Carnegie  made  a  gift  of  $60,000.  The 
text  of  his  letter  is  given  in  full : 

"March  6,    1901. 
"O.  F.  Barbour,  Ksq.,  Rockford,  111. 

"Dear  Sir:  If  the  city  of  Rockford  will 
furnish  a  suitable  site  and  agree  to  maintain  the 
) 


library  at  a  cost  of  not  less  than  $8,000  a  year, 
Mr.  Carnegie  will  be  glad  to  give  $60,000  for  a 
free  library  building. 

"Respectfully  yours, 
"James  P.  Bertram,  Secretary.'' 

The  prolonged  controversy  over  a  site  is 
familiar  recent  history,  and  no  further  mention 
need  be  made  of  it.  A  desirable  site  was  finally 
selected.  The  ])roperty  was  owned  by  the  Rock- 
ford Gas  Light  and  Coke  company,  and  was 
valued  at  $1 1,000,  of  which  a  gift  of  $2,000  was 
made  by  the  company.  The  balance  was  paid  by 
citizens.  The  plans  submitted  by  Bradley  &  Car- 
IH'ntcr  were  approved,  and  the  contract  for  the 
structure  was  made  with  W.  H.  Cook. 

In  the  spring  of  1903,  when  funds  were  greatly 
reduced.  .Mayor  .Amasa  Ilutchius  asked  Mr. 
Carnegie  for  an  addition  to  his  gift,  and  he 
I)romptly  received  $10,000.  .\  portion  of  this 
sum  was  expended  in  the  completion  of  the  build- 
ing, and  the  balance  was  used  in  the  furnishings. 
The  work  of  beautifying  the  grounds  was  in 
charge  of  Hon.  Robert  H.  Tinker. 

The  comi)leted  Carnegie  library  building  was 
opened  to  the  public  November  21.  1903.  The 
total  value  of  the  property,  including  building, 
furnishings  and  grounds,  is  conser\-ativcly  placed 
at  $90,000.  This  does  not  include  the  books  nor 
the  museum.  The  opening  of  the  new  library  im- 
mediately resulted  in  an  increase  of  twenty-five 
])cr  cent,  in  circulation. 

In  1895  the  library  was  made  a  depository  for 
government  publications.  .\  large  room  has  been 
set  ajjart  for  them,  and  when  the  work  of  cata- 
loguing is  complete,  they  will  be  official  sources 
of  information  of  great  value. 

One  of  the  most  interesting  features  of  the 
library  is  the  children's  room  in  the  basement,  in 
charge  of  Miss  Mabel  Snyder.  During  a  busy 
season  of  the  year  nearly  one  hundred  little  ones 
have  been  seen  there  at  one  time. 

In  1904  the  Misses  Anna  and  Mary  Beattie 
and  brothers  Edward  W.  and  Geo.  D.,  presented 
to  the  city  of  Rockford  a  rare  museum  of  natural 
history.  conservativel\  valued  at  $9,000.  The 
collection  was  the  life-work  of  Dr.  Velie,  and  he 
personally  supervised  its  installation.  The  gift 
is  a  memorial  to  the  parents  of  the  donors  of  the 
gift,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  John  Beattie,  early  residents 
and  highly  esteemed  citizens  of  Rockford. 

The  city  authorities  referred  the  acceptance  of 
the  gift  to  the  library  board,  who  gave  it  a  place 
on  the  second  floor  of  the  Carnegie  building. 

In  January.  iiX)4.  the  city  council  made  an  ap- 
propriation of  $2,000  for  the  purpose  of  es- 
tablishing a  branch  library  on  Seventh  street.  The 
furniture  was  generously  furnished  by  the  fac- 
tories in  which  P.  .\.  Peterson  has  large  interests. 
The  library,  in  charge  of  Miss  Blanche  Oaks, 
was  opened  in  June,  with  about  2,000  volumes. 


PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


117 


Tlie  following-  is  a  complete  roster  of  directors 
from  the  beginning:  Melancthon  Starr,  Elias 
Cosper,  S.  C.  Withrow,  Dr.  D.  S.  Clark,  Rev.  F. 
P.  Woodbury,  Rev.  H.  C.  Mabie,  X.  C.  Thomp- 
son, J.  G.  Knapp,  Charles  L.  Williams,  Dr.  A.  L. 
McArthiir,  Dr.  A.  E.  Goodwin,  R.  F.  Crawford, 
W.  A.  Talcott,  H.  P.  Holland,  I  Herva  Jones, 
Prof.  O.  F.  Barbour,  Rev.  Wilder  Smith,  Dr.  R. 
P.  Lane,  Geo.  S.  Haskell,  Rev.  T.  J.  Butler,  D.  S. 
Doig,  John  H.  Sherratt,  Prof.  M".  S.  Bebb,  W. 
W.  Bennett,  James  Lamont,  Rev.  J.  J.  Flahert)', 
Hon.  E.  H.  Baker,  Hon.  Seely  Perry,  August 
Lind,  Mrs.  Marie  T.  Perry,  Mrs.  Clara  Goodall 
Sanford,  Miss  Sarah  Anderson,  Hon.  C.  A. 
Works,  P.  O.  N.  Wall,  ]Mrs.  Harriott  Wight 
Sherratt,  Robert  Rew,  A.  D.  Earlv,  H.  S.  Whip- 
ple, J.  V.  Riley,  A.  P.  Floberg,  C.  L.  Miller,  Fred 
Haines,  A.  G.  Larson,  J.  E.  Goembel,  T.  E.  Swan- 
son,  J.  L.  Clark,  J.  A.  Alden,  W.  A.'Brolin.  Of 
this  number  Prof.  Barbour  is  the  senior  member, 
in  length  of  service.  He  was  first  appointed  in 
1876  by  Mayor  Levi  Rhoades,  to  succeed  H.  P. 
Holland,  resigned.  With  the  exception  of  a  brief 
interim  in  1878,  during  the  administration  of 
Mayor  Watson,  he  has  served  twenty-nine  years. 

The  present  library  staff  is  as  follows :  Jane  P. 
Hubbell,  librarian;  Mrs.  Anna  C.  Vincent,  as- 
sistant librarian  ;  assistants,  Eliza  A.  Kave,  Mary 
E.  Lowry,  Lelia  P.  King,  Mabel  L.  Snyder: 
evening  assistant,  Charles  A.  Church  :  Saturday 
assistant,  Katherine  E.  Dickerman :  substitute, 
Edith  1\L  Hess.  In  continuous  service  Mr. 
Church  out-ranks  any  other  person  on  the  present 
library  staff,  having  served  eighteen  years. 

^liss  Blanche  Oaks  is  librarian  of  the  Seventh 
street  branch,  with  Miss  Alma  Freeberg  as  as- 
sistant. 

May  31,  1Q05,  the  number  of  volumes  in  the 
main  library  was  41,320,  and  2,063  volumes  in 
the  branch.  The  total  circulation  for  home  use 
for  the  fiscal  year  ending  on  that  date,  at  the 
main  library,  was  86,946  ;  circulation  at  the  branch, 
18,360:  school  libraries.  13,828:  reference  works 
in  main  library,  15,403:  total  circulation  of  main 
library  and  branch,  134,537. 

In  .\pril,  1905,  the  tenth  annual  meeting  of  the 
Illinois  Librarv  association  was  held  in  Rock- 
ford. 

E.\RLY    ROCKFORD    SCHOOLS. 

The  first  school  in  Winnebago  county  was 
taught  by  Miss  Eunice  Brown,  who  afterward 
became  Mrs.  J.  G.  Lyon.  This  school  was  on  the 
site  of  no  South  Second  street,  in  the  rear  of 
what  is  known  as  the  John  Earlv  residence,  and 
taught  in  a  log  house.  This  was  about  July,  1837. 
In  the  spring  of  1838  Miss  Brown  taught  on  the 
west  side,  in  a  building  on  what  is  now  the  court 
house  square.  Mrs.  Lvon  died  at  her  home  in 
Rockton,  December  7,  i\ 


In  1837  Miss  Frances  Bradford  taught  school 
in  a  log  cabin  which  belonged  to  William  E. 
Dunbar.  In  1869  the  late  Mrs.  John  H.  Thurs- 
ton prepared  a  list  of  early  Rockford  schools  and 
teachers,  which,  with  some  amplification,  is  sub- 
stantially reproduced.  Israel  Morrill  and  Miss 
.Sarah  E.  Danforth  taught  in  1838  on  the  west 
side ;  Miss  Wood  in  1839,  on  the  west  side :  James 
M.  Wight,  in  the  winter  of  1838-39,  in  the  build- 
ing on  the  corner  of  Madison  and  Market  streets, 
on  the  site  of  the  American  house ;  Miss  Hyde, 
in  1839,  in  the  same  place;  Andrus  Corbin,  in 
1839,  in  a  house  owned  by  himself  on  the  west 
side;  Mr.  Jackson,  in  the  winter  of  1839-40,  in 
the  house  on  the  corner  of  Madison  and  Market 
streets ;  Miss  Hepsabeth  Hutchinson  and  Miss 
Maria  Baker,  in  1840,  on  the  east  side;  Mrs.  Mary 
Jackson,  in  1838-39,  on  the  west  side;  Miss 
Wealthy  Bradford,  in  1841-42,  on  the  west  side; 
Lewis  S.  Sweezy,  in  1841-42,  in  the  brick  school 
house  on  the  southeast  corner  of  the  public 
square,  east  side;  Miss  Harriet  Barnum,  in  1841, 
in  a  private  house,  east  side ;  Miss  Minerva  C. 
Fletcher,  in  1842,  in  a  log-  house  that  stood  op- 
posite the  First  Congregational  church,  east  side ; 
Elijah  Holt,  in  1841-42,  in  the  brick  schoolhouse, 
east  side;  John  Paul,  in  1841,  in  the  first  house 
south  of  the  railroad.  Main  street,  west  side ; 
Lewis  B.  Gregory,  in  the  brick  schoolhouse,  east 
side,  1843-44 ;  Miss  Fronia  Foote  and  George 
Waterman,  in  1843-44;  Miss  Julia  Barnum,  in 
1844,  in  private  house,  east  side ;  Miss  Adeline 
Warren,  private  house,  east  side ;  Miss  Augusta 
Kemfield  in  1845,  ^^^^  side;  C.  A.  Huntington, 
1845  to  1849,  in  the  old  courthouse  on  North 
First  street,  and  on  the  west  side  ;  Miss  Elizabeth 
Weldon  was  assistant  to  Mr.  Huntington ;  H.  H. 
Waldo,  in  1848,  in  Baptist  church,  west  side;  D. 
W.  Ticknor,  from  1846  to  1849,  in  the  brick 
schoolhouse,  east  side ;  assisted  in  turn  by  Miss 
Elizabeth  Weldon,  Anson  Barnum,  John  W. 
Andrews,  and  D.  Dubois ;  H.  H.  Waldo,  in  1849- 
50,  Miss  Hannah  Morrill.  1848,  east  side ;  Robert 
A.  Sanford,  1848,  west  side. 

In  1850  Mr.  Bowles  taught  in  the  brick  school- 
house  on  the  east  side;  Mrs.  Squires,  in  1850,  on 
what  is  now  in  South  Madison  street,  east  side, 
and  afterward  on  west  side ;  Mrs.  King  H.  Mil- 
liken,  in  1850,  east  side ;  Miss  Mary  Dow,  Miss 
Delia  Hyde  and  George  E.  Kimball,  1850-53,  in 
the  basement  of  the  present  First  Baptist  church 
building,  west  side ;  Miss  Sarah  A.  Stewart  and 
Aliss  Mary  Joslin,  in  1850,  in  a  building  where 
the  Masonic  temple  now  stands ;  Seely  Perry,  in 
the  basement  of  the  First  Methodist  church,  on 
Second  street ;  B.  Rush  Catlin,  in  1852,  in  base- 
ment of  First  Methodist  church ;  Misses  Char- 
lotte and  Harriet  Leonard,  in  1851-52;  Miss 
Stowell  and  T.  J.  L.  Remington,  in  185 1,  in  the 
lirick  schoolhouse,  west  side ;  Rev.  C.  Reighley, 


118 


PAST     AXn     PRESEXT     OF     WIWEI'.AGO     COLXTV 


in  1852.  on  the  cast  side;  Miss  Fanny  Avery,  in 

1852.  on  tlie  east  side:  Mr.  Stevens,  in  1833,  in 
tiie  brick  schoolhousc.  east  side;  Miss  Lizzie 
Fern,  in  1853,  on  the  cast  side;  .Mrs.  Carpenter,  in 

1853.  west 'side;  Rev.  L.  Porter,  1852;  Mr. 
Stowell.  in  1853;  Rev.  .\ddison  P>ro\vn  and  Miss 
Frances  .\.  I'.rown  on  the  west  side;  Miss  I'lia 
Galloway,  in  1854.  in  the  lobby  of  the  First  Con- 
STcsational  church,  east  side ;  Darwin  Dubois,  in 

1854.  in  the  First  Methodist  church;  Mrs.  Julia 
and  .Miss  Chapman,  in  1854,  on  the  west  side; 
Miss  l!elle  l!uri)cc  and  Miss  Ethalinda  Thomp- 
son, in  1855.  on  the  east  side;  Hal.sey  C.  Clark, 
in  1855,  in  old  courthouse,  east  side,  with  Miss 
Lizzie  'Ciffen  as  assistant ;  Miss  Emma  Brown, 
in  1857,  east  side;  \.  W.  Freeman,  in  the  base- 
ment of  First  Baptist  church,  west  side :  Wesley 
Sovcrei.qrn.  in  First  Methodist  church,  cast  side; 
Mrs.  Jiines.  on  west  side;  Miss  Elizabeth  I'isher, 
west  side;  Miss  Gunsolus,  east  side;  Mr.  Johnson 
and  Mr.  Clifford,  west  side. 

.Xearly  all  these  schools  were  private.  The 
teachers  were  paid  mainly  by  the  parents.  The 
teacher  made  out  his  own  bills  and  collected  them. 
There  was  then  no  resfnlar  state  or  local  ta.x, 
and  the  only  ])ublic  school  money  was  derived 
from  the  interest  on  the  several  state  school  funds, 
and  the  township  fund  obtained  from  the  sale  of 
the  sixteenth  section.  Private  teachers,  who  con- 
formed to  certain  requirements  of  the  law,  re- 
ceived some  comi)cnsation  from  tlie  jniblic  money, 
in  |)roportion  to  the  number  of  jnipils  under  their 
instruction. 

The  earlv  public  school  records  of  Rockford 
township  have  been  lost.  It  is  therefore  im- 
possible to  obtain  exact  information.  There  ap- 
pears, however,  to  have  been  a  school  district,  with 
a  schoolhouse,  on  each  side  of  the  river.  The 
cast  side  public  school  was  in  the  brick  building 
on  the  southeast  corner  of  the  public  s(|uare.  This 
schoolhouse  was  erected  at  an  early  date,  by 
private  subscription.  L.  P>.  Gregory  taught  there 
soon  after  his  arrival  in  Rockford.  His  examina- 
tion for  certificate  was  c|uite  brief,  and  was  held 
in  E.  H.  Potter's  store.  The  directors  were  E. 
H.  Potter,  William  E.  Dunbar,  Willard  Wheeler 
and  Dr.  A.  M.  Catlin.  Mr.  Gregory  was  asked 
to  spell  baker.  ITe  rei)lied  that  he  could  not; 
but  the  certificate  was  granted. 

In  the  classical  institute,  in  the  basement  of 
the  First  I'.a|)tist  church,  from  1855  to  1856,  of 
which  H.  P.  Kimball  was  principal,  one  class 
pursued  the  regidar  studies  of  the  freshman  year 
in  college,  and  entered  one  year  in  advance.  .-\ 
score  of  students  left  this  institution  and  entered 
eastern  colleges.  Two  years'  study  was  con- 
sidered sufficient  to  advance  scholars  through  a 
full  ])reparatory  course  of  mathematics  and  the 
usual  bofjks  in  Latin  and  Greek,  giving  them  a 
sufficient  preparation. 


Seely  Perry  taught  a  preparatory  school  for 
young  men  about  a  year  and  a  half,  in  the  First 
.Methodist  church.  .\t  this  school  quite  a  num- 
ber of  students  prepared  for  college.  .Vmong 
these  were  the  late  Dr.  Selwyn  Clark ;  .\lexander 
Kerr,  who  became  professor  of  Greek  in  the 
Cniversity  of  Wisconsin ;  Rev.  John  Edwards, 
brother  of  Mrs.  Clemens.  On  account  of  ill  health, 
Mr.  Perrv  turned  over  the  school  to  a  brother  of 
Dr.  E.  P.'  Catlin. 

ISesides  the  houses  used  for  schools  on  the  east 
side  already  noted,  were :  one  on  Kishwaukee 
street,  near  bridge ;  one  on  lot  in  rear  of  engine 
house  on  South  First  street ;  one  on  South  .Madi- 
son street.  Xot  less  than  eight  buildings  were 
used  for  school  puqDOses  on  the  cast  side.  .\  sum 
of  money  was  once  raised  to  build  a  second 
public  school  house  on  the  east  side ;  but  it  was 
never  erected.  The  money  was  finally  paid  into 
the  nninicipal  treasury,  upon  the  order  of  the  city 
Council. 

John  .\.  Holland  and  others  built  a  school 
house  for  private  pupils  on  South  West  street. 
It  w^as  occupied  exclusively  by  the  children  of 
those  who  erected  it.  It  was  therefore  not  a 
large  school,  but  somewhat  exclusive.  The  con- 
tract was  made  with  Seely  Perry  for  furnishing 
building  material. 

.\n  old  schoolhouse  stood  on  South  Main 
street,  and  later  used  as  a  blacksmith  shop,  near 
Mrs.  Brett's  block.  The  Second  Congregational 
church  was  organized  in  this  building.  There 
was  also  a  small  schoolhouse  on  the  south  side 
of  Green  street,  between  Church  and  Court.  It 
was  a  white  frame  building,  .\bbie  Parker,  a 
sister  of  the  late  G.  W.  Parker,  tau.ghl  there  at 
one  time. 

IKi:i-:   ITltLIC  SCHOOL  svsrii.M. 

The  development  of  the  public  school  system 
is  an  excellent  illustration  of  the  growth  of  ]>a- 
tcrnalism  ;  first,  on  the  part  of  the  general  govern- 
ment ;  and  second,  in  the  gradual  advance  of  the 
state  toward  the  present  standard. 

The  free  jjublic  school  system  of  Illinois  dates 
from  1855.  In  December.  1853.  a  large  common 
school  convention  met  at  Jerscyville.  composed  of 
delegates  from  many  adjoining  counties,  and  one 
at  Bloomington,  for  the  whole  state.  These 
movements  ])ro<luced  results.  The  general  as- 
sembly, which  met  the  following  February,  sepa- 
rated the  office  of  state  su|ierintendent  of  public 
instruction  from  that  of  secretary  of  state,  and 
made  it  a  distinct  department  of  the  state  gov- 
ernment. The  state  superintendent  was  required 
to  draft  a  bill  emlnxlying  a  system  of  free  edu- 
cation for  all  the  children  of  the  state,  and  report 
to  the  next  general  assembly.  March  15.  1854, 
Governor     Slattcson     appointed     Hon.      Xinian 


PAST  AXD  PRESEXT 


OF  WIXNEBAGO  COUXTY. 


119 


Edwards  as  state  superintendent.  In  the  fol- 
lowino;  January  Mr.  Edwards  presented  a  bill 
which  became  a  law  February  15.  1855.  Fo'' 
state  purposes  the  school  tax  was  fixed  at  two 
mills  on  the  one  hundred  dollars.  To  this  was 
added  the  interest  from  the  permanent  school 
fund.  A  free  school  was  required  to  be  main- 
tained for  at  least  six  months  in  each  year,  and  it 
was  made  imperative  upon  the  directors  of  every 
school  district  to  levy  the  necessary  tax.  Thus 
the  free  school  system  of  Illinois  began  when  the 
taxing;'  power  of  the  state  was  invoked  in  its 
behalf. 

The  school  law  was  bitterly  opposed,  and  nar- 
rowlv  escaped  repeal.  Sir  William  Berkeley,  the 
royal  governor  of  \'irginia,  said  in  1670:  "T 
thank  God  there  are  no  free  schools  nor  printing 
presses  in  Mrginia  and  I  hope  we  shall  not  have 
these  hundred  years."  The  spirit  of  this  pious 
wish  prevailed  in  southern  Illinois :  and  there  was 
a  repetition  of  the  old  conflict  between  the  two 
distinct  classes  of  people  in  the  two  portions  of 
the  state.  The  southern  portion  was  poor,  while 
the  northern  portion  was  well-to-do ;  and  it  was 
only  as  it  was  made  to  appear  to  the  southern 
part  that  it  was  receiving  more  from  the  state 
school  fund  than  it  was  contributing,  that  the 
people  acquiesced  in  the  law. 

The  charter  of  1854  had  conferred  upon   the 
city    council    of    Rockford    full    power    over    its 
schools.     Ji'iie   20,    1855,  the  council   passed   its 
first  school  ordinance  under  the  new  school  law. 
The  city  was  divided  into  school  districts ;  East 
side,  number  one ;   West  side,  number  two.     A 
board   of  school   inspectors   was  appointed,   con- 
sisting of  George  Haskell,  A.  S.  JNIiller  and  Jason 
Marsh.     In  December  the  board  voted   to  pur- 
chase of  A.  W.   Freeman  his  lease  of  the  base- 
ment of  the  First  Baptist  church  for  a  school  in 
district    number    two.      IMr.    Freeman    was    em- 
ployed to  teach  at  $800  per  year.     .\t  the  same 
time    Henry    Sabin    was    engaged    for    the    First 
district,    and    the    old    courthouse    on    the    east 
side  was   leased.     Mr.    Sabin    is    a    brother    of 
Charles  Sabin,  of  X'^orth  Giurch  street.     He  is  a 
graduate  of  Amherst   College,   and  has  made  a 
record   for   distinguished   service.      He   has  been 
superintendent  of  schools  at  Clinton,   Iowa,  and 
has  served  several  terms  as  state  superintendent 
of  that  state.     He  now  lives  at  Des  Moines. 

The  council  had  provided  by  ordinance  for  a 
school  agent  for  each  district,  whose  acts  were  to 
be  approved  by  the  council.  July  27,  1855,  the 
agent  for  the  First  district  was  authorized  to 
purchase  from  Solomon  Wheeler,  the  tract  on 
which  the  Henry  Freeman  school  now  stands. 
September  loth  a  contract  was  made  for  the  con- 
struction of  the  building.  April  28,  1856,  a  con- 
tract was  made  for  a  schoolhouse  in  the  Second 
district,   on   the   site   of   the   Lincoln   school ;   the 


contractors 


were  E.  X.  House.  M.  H.  Regan 
and  James  B.  Howell.  The  progress  of  the  build- 
mgs  was  delayed  by  unfavorable  weather,  and  the 
late  arrival  of  school  furniture. 

August  14,  1857,  in  the  afternoon  and  evenino- 
occnrred  the  formal  dedication  of  the  two  uniOT 
school  buildings.  Previous  to  this  time  Rock- 
ford  as  a  city  had  no  schoolhouse  of  its  own. 

The  First  district  school  had  three  principals 
from  1857  to  1884.  The  first  was  Orlando  C. 
Blackmer.  who  was  appointed  March  10,  i8s7 
His  assistant  was  S.  F.  Penfield.  iMr.  Blackmer 
remamed  but  a  short  time,  when  he  began  the 
iniblication  of  school  records  in  Chicago.  Mr. 
Blackmer  is  a  brother  of  Mrs.  X.  C.  Thompson.' 
He  is  now  living  at  Oak  Park. 

Prof.    Henry    Freeman,    Mr.    Blackmer's    suc- 
cessor, was  a  native  of  Massachusetts,  born  within 
twenty  miles  of  Plymouth  Rock.     He  was  gradu- 
ated   from    Teacher's    Seminarv.    Andover,"  Mas- 
sachusetts,  in   1839,  and  taught   for  one  vear  in 
the  preparatory  department.  "  Prof.  Freeman  be- 
gan his  life-work  as  principal  of  the  high  school 
at  Bridgeton,  Xew  York,  in   1840.     In"  1845  he 
was  offered  the  principalship  of  Salem  academv, 
at   Salem,   X^'ew  Jersey,   where   he  remained  five 
>ears  until  he  was  elected  principal  of  \\'allkill 
Academy,  at  Middleton,  Xew  York.    In  1855  he 
was  called  to  the  position  of  principal  of  the  high 
school  and  superintendent  of  schools  at  Freepo'rt. 
Illinois.  In  1859  the  board  of  school  inspectors  in- 
vited Prof.  Freeman  to  take  the  position  of  prin- 
cipal and  superintendent  of  schools  of  East  Rock- 
ford  at  a  salary  of  one  thousand  dollars  a  vear. 
This  position  he  filled  twenty-one  vears.  imtil  he 
resigned  in  1880.     During  tliis  long  service  hun- 
dreds of  pupils  came  under  the  influence  of  the 
principal.    Prof.  Preeman  had  high  ideals  of  life, 
and  his  strong  character  was  a  potent  factor  in 
promoting  that  which  was  for  the  best  interest 
of   the   pupils.      His    conscientious    efforts    were 
appreciated,   and   occasionally   his   former   pupils 
gathered    informally    at    his'  home    and    recalled 
reminiscences  of  those  formative  vears. 

The  third  and  last  principal  was  Prof.  .\.  W. 
McPherson,  who  remained  until  1884. 

George  G.  Lyon  was  chosen  principal  of  the 
Second  school  district  March  10,  1857.  April 
22,  1904,  the  old  pupils  of  Prof.  Lyon  had  the 
pleasure  of  honoring  his  memory  bv  planting  the 
Lyon  elm  on  the  Lincoln  school  grounds. 

Prof.  Lyon  was  succeeded  bv  E.  M.  Fernal, 
E.  X.  sillier.  James  H.  Blodgett  and  W.  W. 
Stetson.  Prof.  Blodgett  became  principal  of  the 
^^'est  side  school  in  September,  1865,  and  held  this 
position  fifteen  years.  He  had  served  his  country 
in  the  Civil  war  as  captain  of  Companv  E, 
Seventy-fifth  Illinois  \'olunteer  Infantrv.  Prof. 
Blodgett  has  for  many  years  been  an  official  in 
the  interior  department  at  Washington. 


I20 


I'AST     AXD     PRESF.XT     OF     WIXXKHAGO     COUXTY. 


Prof.  W.  W.  Stetson,  the  last  principal  of  the 
West  side  high  school  before  the  consolidation, 
is  now  state  superintendent  of  Maine. 

By  1857  a  small  frame  strncture  had  been 
erected  in  South  Rock  ford  as  a  schoolhouse. 
This  was  soon  enlargfed  and  was  later  superseded 
by  a  stone  structure,  now  known  as  Kent  school. 
Thomas  Sherratt  and  a  Mr.  Munson  were  early 
principals.  Mr.  Sweet,  another  early  principal, 
went  to  California  and  there  died. 

Prof.  O.  F.  Barbour  succeeded  Mr.  Sweet  in 
September.  1866,  and  has  retained  this  position 
thirtv-nine  consecutive  years.  Prof.  Barbour's 
continuous  service  in  the  same  school  is  without 
a  parallel  in  the  state  of  lUinnis.  "To  his  in- 
spiration."' says  Prof.  James  II.  Blodgett.  "is 
largely  due  the  unusual  prominence  of  boys 
among  the  graduates  of  the  West  high  school. 
At  a  time  when  girl  graduates  monopolized  the 
diplomas  in  many  schools,  one-third  of  the  gradu- 
ates of  \\'est  Rockford  high  school  were  boys, 
and  occasionally  a  graduating  class  had  more 
boys  than  .girls,  and  .^outh  Rockford  furnished  a 
conspicuous  share." 

October  21.  i86i.  the  number  of  school  in- 
spectors was  increased  from  three  to  five. 

In  1884  the  public  school  sy.stem  was  thor- 
oughly reorganized,  and  the  city  was  made  one 
school  district,  with  one  high  school,  in  ])ursu- 
ance  of  an  ordinance  drawn  Ijy  Hon.  .\lfrcd  Tag- 
gart.  Prof.  P.  R.  Walker  was  made  general 
superintendent  of  all  the  city  schools,  and  he  has 
held  this  position  twenty-one  years.  Prof.  Walker 
did  service  during  the  Civil  war  with  the  Xinety- 
second  Illinois  \'oluntcers.  He  graduated  from 
tlie  Illinois  State  Xormal  School  and  was  for 
many  years  a  teacher.  Pie  came  to  Rockford  from 
Rochelle. 

.\  central  high  school  was  created.  Temporary 
(|uarters  were  secured  in  the  second  story  of  a 
building  on  West  State  street.  The  first  prin- 
ciiial  was  Prof.  A.  W.  McPherson,  who  served 
one  year.  The  second  principal  was  Prof. 
Charles  A.  Smith,  a  graduate  of  .\inhcrst.  The 
present  high  school  Iniilding  was  erected  in  1885, 
and  an  addition  was  completed  in  1900.  Prof. 
Smith  was  succeeded  by  Walter  A.  Edwards,  a 
son  of  Prof.  Edwards,  at  one  time  superintendent 
of  public  instruction  of  Illinois.  Mr.  Edwards 
resigned  in  1805.  and  was  succeeded  by  Prof.  B. 
D.  I'arker.  who  remained  nine  years.  The  jircs- 
ent  i)rinci|)al  is  Ellis  U.  Graff,  who  began  his 
duties  in  Sei)teml)er.   1904. 

Previous  to  the  reorganization  of  the  Rockford 
schools  in  1884.  the  schoolhouses  were  simply 
designated  by  the  wards  in  which  the}'  were 
.severally  located.  Prof.  Walker,  as  he  became 
acquainted  with  the  history  of  the  city,  advised 
the  naming  of  the  several  schools,  and.  with  three 
exceptions,  they  were  named  in  honor  of  Rock- 
ford citizens. 


The  West  side  high  school,  built  in  1857.  was 
called  the  Lincoln  school,  in  honor  of  .\braham 
Lincoln.  It  was  rebuilt  in  1892  at  a  cost  of 
$35,000. 

The  East  Rockford  high  school,  also  built  in 

1857,  was  named  .Adams,  in  honor  of  President 
Jolm  .\dams.  In  1893  the  old  stone  structure 
was  razed  to  the  ground  and  a  two-story  brick 
building  erected,  at  a  cost  of  $40,000.  In  1904 
about  $5,000  was  expended  in  a  steam  heating 
plant  and  a  system  of  fan-ventilation.  This  build- 
ing has  been  re-christened  the  Henry  Freeman 
school,  in  honor  of  Prof.  Freeman,  who  taught 
twenty-one  years  in  the  old  East  side  high  school. 

The  South  Rockford  school  building,  erected  in 

1858,  was  named  the  Kent,  in  honor  of  Ger- 
manicus  Kent,  the  first  settler  of  Rockford,  who 
came  here  in  1834. 

The  Hall  .school,  built  in  1866,  and  rebuilt  in 
1892.  was  named  in  honor  of  John  Hall,  an  early 
member  of  the  board  of  education. 

The  Ellis  school,  built  in  186S.  hears  the  name 
of  Col.  E.  F.  ^^'.  Ellis,  an  early  banker  of  Rock- 
fcMil,  who  was  killed  in  the  battle  of  Shiloh  in 
.\pril,   1S62. 

The  Blake  school,  erected  in  an  early  day,  and 
rebuilt  in  1899,  received  its  name  from  Thatcher 
Blake,  who  came  to  Rockford  with  Germanicus 
Kent,  in  1S34. 

The  Marsh  school,  built  in  1872.  bears  the 
name  of  Col.  Jason  Marsh,  a  pioneer  of  1839. 
and  a  representative  lawyer  and  public-spirited 
citizen. 

The  Xelson  school,  built  in  1881.  is  named  for 
John  Xelson,  the  famous  Rockford  inventor  of 
the  knitting  machine.  The  Hotel  X'^elson  also 
hears  his  name. 

The  Haskell  school  was  built  in  1874.  and 
perpetuates  the  memory  of  Dr.  George  Haskell, 
who  came  to  Rockford  in  1838.  He  has  been 
immortalized  by  the  poet  Whittier  in  Snow- 
boiuid. 

The  Montague  school  was  built  in  1883.  and 
enlarged  in  i8()2.  It  bears  the  name  of  Richard 
Montagut-.  a  pioneer  of  1835. 

The  Wight  school,  built  in  1889,  is  named  in 
honor  of  James  AI.  Wight,  a  prominent  barri.ster, 
member  of  the  constitutional  convention  of  1870, 
and  a  representative  in  the  legislature. 

The  Brown  school,  erected  in  1892,  derives  its 
name  from  Judge  William  Brown,  who  held 
many  offices  of  ])ublic  trust  and  was  for  twenty 
years  judge  of  the  circuit  court. 

The  Garrison  school,  built  in  1887.  and  en- 
largcfl  in  i8<)2,  is  named  for  Thomas  Garrison, 
who  came  to  Rockford  from  New  Jersey  in  1853, 
and  purchased  a  large  tract  of  land  north  of  the 
city.  Mr.  Garrison  died  October  6,  1871.  .\n 
addition  has  been  made  to  the  school  building 
during  the  present  year. 
The  Cliurch  school  was  built  in  1894,  and  per- 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


121 


petuates  the  memory  of  Judge  Seklen  M.  Church, 
an  early  settler,  postmaster,  member  of  the  legis- 
lature, and  judge  of  the  county  court. 

The  Kishwaukee  school  was  built  in  1896.  and 
derives  its  name  from  the  street  on  which  it 
stands,  which,  in  turn,  is  derived  from  Kish- 
waukee river.    Kishwaukee  is  an  Indian  name. 

The  Turner  school  was  built  in  1898,  and  de- 
rives its  name  from  J.  M.  Turner,  a  supervisor 
and  alderman.  Mr.  Turner,  in  recognition  of  this 
honor,  gave  the  school  a  bell. 

A  site  at  the  corner  of  Summit  and  Crosby 
streets,  consisting  of  one-half  of  a  block,  was 
purchased  in  1904,  and  a  ten-room  building 
erected.  It  is  called  the  Jackson  school,  in  honor 
of  Charles  E.  Jackson,  the  present  mayor.  It  is 
pleasing  to  know  that  the  idea  of  more  extensive 
school  grounds  has  at  last  been  adopted,  and  that 
this  new  building  is  heated  by  steam,  and  well 
ventilated  with  a  fan  to  drive  the  pure,  warm  or 
cold  air  through  the  building.  The  plans  pro- 
vide large  rooms,  well  lighted,  and  large  halls 
that  are  easily  accessible,  with  stairs  easy  to 
ascend  and  descend.  The  light  comes  in  at  the 
left  and  rear  of  the  pupils  in  each  room.  The  site 
is  on  an  elevation  well  drained  and  supplied  with 
ample  sewerage,  a  very  important  item  in  the 
location  of  a  school  building. 

With  the  completion  of  the  Jackson  school,  the 
entire  school  property  of  Rockford,  including 
buildings,  grounds  and  furnishings  is  not  less 
than  half  a  million  dollars. 

The  following  table  indicates  the  cost  of  the 
completed  buildings  as  they  now  stand : 

High    School,    1885-1900 $  92,145.97 

Lincoln,   1892 35,000.00 

Henry    Freeman,    1893 45,000.00 

Hall,  1892 30,000.00 

Wight.   1889 20.000.00 

Brown,    1892 18,000.00 

Kent,    1858 20,000.00 

Montague,    1883-1892 20,700.00 

Garrison,    1887-1892 18,000.00 

Church,    1894 20.000.00 

Kishwaukee.    1896 30,000.00 

Nelson,    1881 4.000.00 

Marsh,   1872 5,000.00 

Blake,   1899 28.385.49 

Haskell,    1874 6,000.00 

Ellis,    1868 4,000.00 

Turner,   1898 25,588.74 

Jackson,    1904 35.000.00 


Total $456,820.20 

Tne   following  is   the   total   enrollment   of   the 
citv  schools  bv  vears,  since  1884: 

1884 '.  ^.^.-JJi  1894 4.723 

1885 2,818  1895 4.781 

1886 2,875  1896 4.945 

1887 2,950  1897 5,138 


1888. 
1889. 
1890. 
1891. 
1892. 
1893. 


•  3,206 
•3.306 
•3.563 
•3.851 
•4.195 
•4.531 


1898 5,193 

1899 5.645 

1900 5,877 

1901 6.01 1 

1902 6,116 

1903 6,251 

Opening  day,  September  5,  1904 5.627 

Enrollment  for  September,  1905 6.441 

The  work  of  the  Rockford  high  school  is  to 
a  limited  extent  elective,  and  is  based  upon  an 
election  of  subjects  rather  than  of  courses.  The 
unit  of  the  plan  is  a  "credit,"  which  means  five 
hours  of  work  per  week  for  a  period  of  thirty- 
nine  weeks.  Sixteen  such  credits  are  necessary 
for  graduation,  of  which  seven  and  a  half  are  re- 
quired, and  the  remainder  elective.  The  plan 
may  be  seen  by  reference  to  the  course  of  study. 
Below  is  a  report  of  the  number  in  the  enter- 
ing classes,  and  the  number  graduated  since  1886: 

WHEN  WHEN 

GRADUATED.  NO. 

1890 32 

1891 37 

1892 28 

1893 49 

1894 52 

1895 48 

1896 67 

1897 88 

1898 58 

1899 55 

1900 68 

1901 48 

1902 ^6 

1903 64 

1904 77 

1905 87 

education  consists  of  Dr. 

,  E.  D.  Revnolds.  L.  M. 
Biller. 


NO. 


ENTERED. 

1886 

1887 

r888 

1889 

1890 

189I 

1892 

1893 

1894 

1895 

1896 

1897 

1898 

1899 

1900 

I9OI — 

The  present  board  of 
Culhane,  A.  G.  Everett, 
Xolina:.  and  JNIiss  Pearl 


.109 

79 
89 

"5 

132 

,116 
138 
176 
163 
146 
154 

■152 
169 

■159 


FIRST    C0NS0LID.\TED    SCHOOL    IN    ILLINOIS. 

Seward  township  has  the  first  consolidated 
school  in  Illinois.  In  the  spring  of  1903,  on  pe- 
tition to  the  school  trustees.  Districts  90,  91,  93, 
of  Seward  township,  were  consolidated.  The 
electors  of  the  consolidated  district,  bv  a  vote  of 
thirty-eight  for  and  fifteen  against,  bonded  the 
district  for  $7,000,  ten  years'  time  at  four  per 
cent,  to  purchase  a  site  and  erect  a  union  school 
building.  By  a  vote  of  forty-seven  for,  and  one 
against,  the  airectors  were  authorized  to  pur- 
chase a  certain  site  for  the  new  school  grounds. 
This  consists  of  three  and  six-tenths  acres  of  some 
of  the  finest  farming  land  in  northern  Illinois. 
The  amount  paid  for  it  was  $1,000. 

Prof.  Blair,  chief  of  horticulture  of  the  Illinois 
College  of  Agriculture,  designed  the  landscape 
arrangement  of  this  ground.     It  provides  for  the 


122 


lM      AM)     I'RF.SF.XT     OI"     WIX.XEliACO     COrXTV. 


tifiil  fjroii|)in<js  and  massing  of  nunuTous 
varieties  of  shrubs  anil  llowcrs :  a  boys'  athletic 
field ;  a  gfirls'  athletic  field ;  little  folks'  play 
ground ;  and  experimental  gardens  for  all  the 
children.  TJie  new  building  was  erected  at  a  cost 
of  about  $6,000.  The  credit  of  this  iimovation 
belongs  to  Superintendent  ().  J.  Kern,  who 
labored  four  years  and  a  half  to  accomplish  this 
result.  This  school  promises  to  be  the  connecting 
link  between  the  farm  and  the  college  of  agri- 
culture. 

DI.^TKICT    SCIIOOI.    TR.WKI.I.NG    LlliR.\RIES. 

The  Winnebago  County  District  School  Travel- 
ing Libraries  were  organized  in  lyoi.  The  object 
was  to  supply  valuable  helps  for  school  work 
and  good  literature  in  a  way  that  would  be  pos- 
sible to  reach  every  district  school,  every  child 
and  intlirectly  every  home  in  the  county  outside 
of  the  City  of  Rockford.  This  was  the  first  at- 
tempt of  its  kind  in  Illinois.  These  traveling 
libraries  are  the  property  of  the  county,  and  are 
in  charge  of  the  county  superintendent  of  schools. 

The  money  with  which  to  inirchase  the  books 
was  acquired  in  two  ways.  First,  an  appropria- 
tion by  the  county  board  of  supervisors ;  second, 
by  the  net  jimceeds  of  annual  township  school  ex- 
ercises. 

The  districts  over  the  county  are  grouped  into 
circuits  of  six  districts  each,  with  two  or  three 
excejjtions.  A  box  of  books  stays  at  a  school  one 
month  and  then  is  taken  to  another  school  in  die 
circuit.  The  fractional  township  of  Laona  has 
exactly  six  school  districts.  The  teachers  of  this 
circuit  are  over  twenty  miles  from  Rockford.  Tlie 
traveling  library  is  the  only  way  to  reach  them, 
for  the  distance  is  too  great  for  teachers  to  go  to 
the  county  suj^erintendent's  office  and  lake  books 
to  their  schools.  With  the  traveling  libraries  all 
schools  are  on  an  equal  footing  as  far  as  oppor- 
tunity to  u.se  lxx)ks  is  concerned.  Three  boxes  of 
books  are  placed  in  each  circuit,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  the  graded  school  circuit  of  ten  schools, 
which  has  five  lx)xes. 

The  library  movement  is  helping  to  create  a 
new  educational  ideal  in  Winnel)ago  county.  It 
is  no  small  factor  in  the  imjirovement  of  the 
teaching  force.  .And  tiie  library,  if  rightly  used 
in  the  .school  room,  can  not  fail  to  strengthen  the 
work  of  the  puiiils.  Pufiils  and  teacliers  are 
brought  into  contact  with  good  books  during  the 
year,  .^lowly,  but  surely,  the  reading  habit  will 
be  formed,  the  desire  to  rea<l  gix)d  books.  This  is 
of  great  importance  to  the  boy  or  girl  after  school 
days  are  over. 

DI.STRICT  SClK)Or,  LI1!R.\RIES. 

There  has  been  a  great  increase  in  tlie  local 
district  school  libraries  during  the  past  three  years, 
total  numIxT  of  admissions  having  Ijeen  nearly 
90,000, 


These  books  are  the  property  of  the  various  dis- 
tricts, and  are  secured  by  socials.  ])urchased  by 
directors  from  school  funds,  etc. 

TOW.V.Smi'    GR.XDUATION    EXERCISES. 

This  innovation  l)egan  in  1901.  These  annual 
exercises  are  helpful  in  creating  a  new  educational 
ideal  with  reference  to  the  country  school.  It 
gives  an  opportunity  for  all  the  chililren  and  i)ar- 
eiits  of  a  townshij)  to  get  together  in  the  interests 
of  better  .schools.  .Xo  attempt  is  made  to  create  a 
great  display.  The  aim  has  always  been  to  have 
the  children  render  the  i)rogram  of  a  simple  edu- 
cational character,  and  thus  keep  alive  a  growing 
interest.  If  the  children  are  interested,  the  par- 
ents will  be.  The  county  superintendent  attends 
every  one  of  them.  Ten  cents  admission  is 
charged,  and  the  net  proceeds  go  toward  the  trav- 
eling lilirary  fund. 

Eighth  grade  certificates  for  admission  to  high 
school.  ])upils'  reading  circle  diplomas  and  teach- 
ers' professional  attainment  certificates  are  given 
at  these  union  township  exercises.  .\  subject  is 
selected  each  year  by  the  county  superintendent, 
which  is  the  central  theme  of  tlu'  ])rogram.  The 
aim  is  to  make  the  program  a  unit  all  over  the 
county,  and  thus  make  the  exercises  trul\'  educa- 
tional and  at  the  .same  time  entertaining. 

The  subject  for  1-901  was:  The  History  of 
\\"innebago  County:  1902.  Louisiana  Purchase 
Fx]3osition  ;  1903,  Out  Door  Art  for  Home  and 
School. 

KOCKFOKO   CH.\UTAUOU.'\    .\SSEMIILY. 

It  has  fallen  to  the  lot  of  few  Rockford  insti- 
uuions  to  meet  with  such  success  in  a  comi)ara- 
tively  short  time  as  lo  the  Rockford  Chautau(|ua. 
now  known  the  breadth  and  width  oi  the  Chau- 
tauqua world  as  one  of  the  largest  and  most  in- 
lluential  in  the  entire  country. 

The  Rockford  Chautau(|ua  assembly  was  or- 
ganized in  the  year  i()02.  The  promoters  felt 
tliere  was  a  need  of  such  an  institution  in  this 
city  and  Ixdieved  that  their  efforts  would  be 
strongly  aided  by  the  Rockford  public. 

.\  stock  company  of  100  shares  was  organ- 
ized with  a  ca])ital  of  S5.000.  and  the  work  was 
taken  up  with  a  will.  The  Rockford  and  Inter- 
urban  Comjiany  erected  the  handsome  and  cajja- 
cious  auditorium  at  Harlem  Park,  seating  5,000 
people,  and  made  otlur  improvements  u])on  the 
grounds. 

The  i<)02  assembly  was  a  record-breaker  for  a 
first-vear  gathering.  .\  jirogram  such  as  has  not 
been  arranged  but  for  few  gatherings  Oi  the  sort 
sufficed  to  attract  thousands  and  the  reputation  of 
the  assembly  was  established. 

The  .season  of  1903  broke  all  records  in  point 
of  attendance  for  short-term  Chautauquas,  the 
artistic  arrangement  of  many  kinds  of  trees  :  beau- 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


123 


These  enormous  figures  were  a  stu"prise  even 
to  the  management  itself  and  other  Chautauquas 
in  the  country  saw  they  had  a  powerful  rival  in 
the  point  of  popularity.  These  attendance  figures 
have  only  been  surpassed  by  the  mother  assembly 
at  Jamestown,  New  York. 

The  season  of  1904  was  as  highly  successful 
in  every  respect  as  that  of  the  previous  year,  the 
attendance  frgures  being  about  the  same. 

With  a  confidence  born  of  this  unprecedented 
attendance  the  management  looks  forward  to  the 
season  of  1906  with  hope,  and  does  not  hesitate 
to  say  that  the  program  will  be  unquestionably  the 
strongest  ever  presented  by  any  assembly  in  the 
west. 

No  expense  has  been  spared  in  past  years  to 
gratify  every  desire  of  the  public  for  pleasing,  as 
well  as  educating,  programs,  and  the  Chautauqua 
association  will  continue  on  this  same  broad  plan 
in  the  years  to  come. 

The  officers  of  the  association  are : 

President — D.  Lichty. 

\'ice  President — George  Stansbury. 

Secretary — Frank  S.  Regan. 

Treasurer — Miss  Mary  I.  Beattie. 

Superintendent — A.  C.  Folsom. 

Directors — A.  E.  Elmore.  J.  B.  Whitehead, 
August  Peterson,  H.  S.  Whipple,  L.  A.  Williams, 
W.' W.  Bennett,  C.  H.  Knapi.,  J.  FT.  I-Cing,  E.  M. 
Breckenridge. 

ROCKFORD     STREET     RAILWAY     AND 
INTERURBAN  LINES. 

KOCKFORD  STREET  RAILWAY  I'OMPAiW. 

The  Story  of  the  growth  of  the  city  railway  and 
interurban  systems  of  Rockford  forms  an  inter- 
esting chapter  in  the  commercial  development  of 
the  city.  From  very  humble  beginnings  these 
lines  have  become  a  great  factor  in  the  municipal 
life  to-day.  They  bring  thousands  of  people  to 
the  city  every  week,  and  make  Rockford  the  busi- 
ness, educational  and  amusement  center  for  the 
great  Rock  river  valley. 

The  Rockford  Street  Railway  company  was  or- 
ganized in  the  latter  part  of  1880,  with  a  capital 
of  $20,000.  January  21,  1881,  the  secretary  of 
state  authorized  Anthony  Haines,  Charles  O.  Up- 
ton and  James  Ferguson,  as  commissioners,  to 
open  books  for  subscriptions  to  stock.  The  orig- 
inal stockholders  were :  Anthony  Haines,  H.  H. 
Robinson,  James  Ferguson,  C.  O.  Lfpton,  C.  M. 
Brazee,  R.  F.  Crawford,  Levi  Rhoades,  N.  E.  Ly- 
man, George  H.  Trufant,  J.  S.  Ticknor,  A.  D. 
Forbes,  E.  L.  Woodruff,  John  Barnes  and  John 
Lake.  The  first  directorate  was  chosen  February 
9,  1881,  at  the  office  of  Holland.  Ferguson  &  Co., 
and  consisted  of  the  following  named  gentlemen : 
C.  M.  Brazee,  A.  D.  Forbes,  Levi  Rhoades,  C.  O. 


Upton,  R.  F.  Crawford,  A.  Haines  and  John 
Barnes.  On  the  following  day  the  directors  elected 
A.  Haines,  president ;  Levi  Rhoades,  vice-presi- 
dent;  H.  H.  Robinson,  secretary:  G.  H.  Trufant, 
treasurer. 

The  company  was  organized  under  the  gen- 
eral corporation  act  of  April  18,  1872,  and  a  char- 
ter was  obtained  for  ninety-nine  years.  June  27, 
i88r,  a  franchise  was  granted  by  the  city  council, 
and  the  promoters  had  no  difficulty  in  securing 
the  right  of  way. 

The  records  of  the  company,  now  ui  possession 
of  H.  H.  Robinson,  contain  this  modest  para- 
graph, tmder  date  of  July  6,  1881  : 

"Moved  by  A.  D.  Forbes  that  the  companv  pro- 
ceed to  make  necessary  arrangements  to  build  a 
street  railway  from  or  near  the  corner  of  Mon- 
tague and  South  ^lain  streets,  in  South  Rockford, 
to  a  point  at  or  near  where  South  Fourth  street 
crosses  the  Chicago  &  Northwestern  railway,  in 
East  Rockford,  Illinois.  Motion  seconded  and 
carried." 

The  original  track  began  on  I-'ourth  avenue,  at 
its  intersection  with  Fourth  street,  running  to 
Kishwaukee,  thence  to  State,  from  State  to  South 
Main,  extending  on  the  latter  to  its  intersection 
with  Montague. 

September  26,  1881.  the  capital  stock  was  raised 
to  $40,000,  and  December  27,-  1883,  the  capital 
was  increased  to  $80,000.  \\'ith  a  large  fund  at 
its  disposal,  the  conijjany  extended  its  track  to 
the  north  gate  of  the  fair  ground.  This  line,  how- 
ever, was  authorized  by  the  original  tranchisc. 
The  east  side  line  was  also  extended  on  Fourth 
avenue  to  Seventh  street,  thence  to  the  Northwest- 
ern railroad  crossing.  The  company  operated  a 
doulile  track  on  State  street. 

\\'hen  the  first  line  was  nearly  completed  an 
amusing  question  arose  whether  horses  or  mules 
should  be  used  to  draw  the  cars.  The  directorate 
was  a  tie,  and  President  Haines  gave  the  casting 
vote  in  favor  of  the  horse.  The  company  em- 
ployed no  conductors.  Passengers  were  supposed 
to  dnip  their  nickel  or  ticket  in  the  box.  Wash- 
ers, buttons  and  old  coins  also  came  to  fill  the 
coffers  of  the  company.  The  latter  often  proved 
of  value,  and  were  sold  at  good  prices  to  coin  col- 
lectors. Sometimes  a  five-dollar  gold  piece  would 
be  dropped  in  by  mistake.  On  one  occasion  a  lady 
left  her  false  teeth  on  the  seat. 

The  company  made  some  money  during  the 
first  six  years.  The  enterprise,  however,  failed  to 
pay  when  the  lines  were  extended  to  the  .sparsely 
settled  portions  of  the  city.  In  i88g  H.  W.  Price, 
who  had  become  a  director,  and  one  of  the  great- 
est of  our  cit\'  builders,  negotiated  a  sale  whereby 
the  property  of  the  old  company  passed  into  the 
hands  of  a  syndicate  at  sixty  cents  on  the  dollar. 
"Judge"'  R.  N.  Baylies  became  president,  and  the 
name  of  the  corporation  was  changed  to  the  Rock- 


124 


PAST     .WD     PRF.SKXT     OV     WIXXEBAGO     COL'XTY. 


ford  City  Railway  company.  Electricity  sup- 
planted the  slow,  but  faithful,  horse,  and  a  metro- 
politan street  railway  system  was  rapidly  devel- 
oped. 

WEST  KND  STREET  RAILW.W. 

It  will  be  a  matter  of  regret  to  the  future  his- 
torian of  Rock  ford  tliat  the  records  of  the  West 
End  Street  Railway  company  have  been  lost.  F.  A. 
Ticknor,  the  secretary  and  superintendent  of  the 
company,  has  kindly  furnished  interesting  facts 
concerning  the  enteqirise. 

During  the  winter  of  1890  a  number  of  gentle- 
men became  actively  interested  in  the  expansion  of 
the  city  in  what  is  now  known  as  the  "West  End." 
It  was  proposed  to  construct  a  street  railway,  in 
the  belief  that  it  would  increase  the  demand  for 
lots  and  eventually  build  up  a  prosperous  suburb. 

The  leader  in  this  movement  was  the  late  James 
S.  Ticknor.  who  became  president  and  secretary  of 
the  company.  His  son.  Frank  .\.,  was  secretary 
and  superintendent. 

The  West  End  Street  Railway  company  was 
organized  in  i8qo.  with  a  capital  of  $50,000, 
which  sum  was  subsequently  increased.  A  fran- 
chise was  obtained  without  serious  opposition,  al- 
though there  was  an  animated  controversy  over 
the  kind  of  rail  to  be  used,  which  finally  resulted 
in  the  choice  of  the  girder  type,  which  Ihe  com- 
pany advocated. 

The  first  line  was  the  West  End  loop,  which 
started  from  the  intersection  of  Elm  and  .South 
Main  streets,  west  on  Elm  to  Cleveland  avenue, 
north  on  Cleveland  avenue  to  .'School  street,  west 
on  School  to  Johnson  avenue,  south  on  Johnson 
avenue  to  Anderson  street,  ea.st  on  .\nderson  and 
Preston  .streets  to  South  .\von,  and  north  on 
South  Avon  to  Elm. 

The  South  Rockford  line  began  on  Elm  street. 
running  west  to  Church,  south  on  Church  to  Ce- 
dar, west  on  Cedar  to  Winnebago,  south  on  \V\n- 
nebago  to  Montague. 

The  third  line  was  begim  at  the  intersection 
of  Chestunt  Wyman  streets,  running  north  on^^'y- 
man  to  Mulbern-.  west  on  Mulberry  to  Horsman. 
north  on  Horsman  to  Locust,  west  on  Eocust  to 
Kilburn  avenue,  north  on  Kilburn  avenue  to 
School  street.  Eater  the  line  was  extended  on 
Mullierrv  to  Avon,  north  on  Avon  to  School,  and 
east  on  School  to  connect  with  the  first  line  termi- 
nus. 

Tn  18^)2  the  east  side  line  was  built.  Tt  began 
at  the  intersection  of  Church  and  Giestnut  streets, 
running  east  on  Chestnut  and  Walnut  .streets  to 
Third,  north  on  Third  to  ^Tarket.  east  on  Market 
to  Xorth  Fourth,  north  on  Xorth  Fourth  to  Hen- 
ton,  east  on  Picnton  to  Longwood.  north  on  Long- 
wood  to  Rural  street. 

The  East  side  line  was  subsequently  extended 
on  Market  to  the  intersection  of  Charles  and  East 
State,  and  east  on  Charles  to  Eleventh  street. 


When  all  its  lines  were  completed  the  West 
luid  company  had  a  greater  mileage  than  the  City 
Railway,  but  many  of  them  were  not  on  the  main 
thoroughfares.  The  road  was  supplied  with  elec- 
tric power  throughout.  The  west  end  loop  and 
south  side  lines  paid  well.  The  enterprise,  how- 
ever, was  not  successful,  and  lo.-t  a  fortune  for 
its  president  and  his  family.  Tl  c  financial  strin- 
gency of  1893  was  especially  severe  in  Rockford, 
and  the  West  End  comjjany  could  not  stem  the 
adverse  tide.  In  1895  t'^*^  property  of  the  com- 
pany passed  into  the  hands  of  a  receiver.  The 
mortgage  was  foreclosed,  and  the  property  was 
bid  in  by  John  Parson,  who  represented  the  bond- 
holders. 

CON'SOLinATED    SVSTF..\rS. 

The  Rockford  City  Railway  company  was  or- 
ganized in  1890.  I'pon  the  foreclosure  of  the 
West  End  Street  Railway  company  in  1895.  the 
line  was  owned  and  operated  by  the  Rockford 
Traction  company.  The  Rockford  Railway, 
Light  and  Power  company  was  organized  in  1898, 
by  the  consolidation  of  the  Rockford  City  Rail- 
way company  and  the  Rockford  Traction  com- 
pany. The  Rockford  S:  Iklviderc  Electric  Rail- 
way com])any  was  organized  in  1900.  The  Rock- 
ford and  Tntcrurban  Railway  company  was  in- 
corporated in  the  fall  of  1902.  as  ,1  consolidation 
of  the  Rockford  &  P.clvidere  Electric  Railway 
company  and  the  Rockford  Railway,  Light  and 
Power  company.  It  is  capitalized  at  $1,000,000, 
with  the  following  officers:  R.  N.  Baylies,  presi- 
dent: John  Parson,  vice-president;  G.  G.  Olm- 
steady.  secretary :  F.  ^^^  W^oodruff.  treasurer :  T. 
^1.  Ellis,  general  manager:  F.  W.  Mc.\ssey.  au- 
ditor: C.  C.  Lines,  superintendent  of  tracks. 

There  are  two  interurban  divisions — one  ex- 
tending from  Rockford  to  Pielvidere,  a  distance  of 
fifteen  miles  ;  the  other  running  to  Freeport.  thirty 
miles  west,  was  completed  in  1904.  The  latter 
line  is  operated  bv  a  sejiarate  organization,  called 
the  Rockford  &:  Freeport  Electric  Railwav  com- 
pany. The  territory  traversed  by  these  lines  is 
one  of  the  garden  spots  of  Illinois,  and  is  as  fer- 
tile and  prosperous  a  region  as  exists  in  the  state. 
It  is  drained  by  the  Rock.  Kishwaukee  and  Peca- 
tonica  rivers.  Between  this  city  and  Belvideie 
lies  Cherry  valley.  Between  Freeport  and  Rock- 
ford there  are  three  towns — Ridott.  Pecatonica 
and  Winnebago.  The  highest  grade  is  two  per 
cent,  for  two  thousand  feet. 

Cars  leave  for  Helvidere  or  Freeport  at  6  a.  m. 
and  each  succeeding  hour  until  11  p.  m.  The 
schedule  time  to  Belvidere  is  forty-five  minutes, 
with  a  record  run  of  thirty-two  minutes  for  the 
distance.  Over  the  Freeport  line  the  regular  time 
is  one  hour  and  twenty  minutes,  a  special  having 
made  the  run  in  forty-five  minutes. 

The  Rockford,  Beloit  &  Jancsville  railroad,  op- 
erating lx?tween  Rockford,  Illinois,  and  Janesville, 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


Wisconsin,  a  distance  of  thirty-four  miles,  pass- 
ing- through  Roscoe  and  Rockton,  Illinois,  and 
Beloit.  \Msconsin,  by  a  traffic  arrangement,  en- 
ters Rockford  over  the  tracks  of  the  Rockford  & 
Interurban  Railway  compan}-.  giving  an  hourly 
service  to  the  above  named  points. 

The  local  service  is  very  complete,  a  network 
of  tracks  intersecting  the  entire  city  and  suburbs. 
Over  one  thousand  cars  pass  the  waiting  station 
during  the  eighteen  hours.  The  power  used  for 
interurban  lines  requires  a  13,200-volt  alternat- 
ing current,  carried  to  the  substations  located  at 
Winnebago,  Pecatonica,  Ridott  and  Cherry 
Valley,  respectively,  making  them  about  seven 
miles  apart. 

The  advent  of  the  interurban  has  increased  the 
value  of  fami  property  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
right-of-way  fully  twenty  per  cent.  Electric 
lines  are  projected  and  under  way  connecting  va- 
rious cities  and  towns  in  this  section  with  Rock- 
ford, and  complete  connection  with  Chicago  will 
soon  be  realized,  when  Rockford  will  be  one  of 
the  greatest  centers  of  electric  lines  in  the  north- 
west. At  the  present  time  one  can  reach  Chicago 
via  electric  roads,  with  a  slight  gap  from  Belvi- 
dere  to  Elgin,  and  a  line  is  now  being  constructed 
between  those  cities.  The  prejudice  existing  a 
few  years  ago  among  nierchants  in  smaller  towns 
against  electric  lines  entering  their  territory  has 
given  way  to  a  great  enthusiasm  in  favor  of  the 
same. 

In  addition  to  the  passenger  service  the  Rock- 
ford &  Interurban  Railway  company  has  modern 
express  and  freight  runs,  and  since  its  inaugura- 
tion, July  16.  1902,  this  department  has  been  very 
successful. 

Harlem  Park  was  purchased  in  1898,  and  as  a 
pleasure  resort  and  Chautauqua  grounds  has 
proven  a  valuable  adjunct  to  the  interurban  sys- 
tem. 

Substantial  stations  have  been  erected  in  all  the 
small  towns  along  the  lines.  These  have  com- 
fortable waiting  rooms  and  a  department  for 
handling  express  business.  In  a  separate  part  of 
the  building  are  the  electric  transformers  used  in 
supplying  power  for  the  road. 

MEMORIAL    HALL. 

Winnebago  county  began  the  agitation  of  a 
memorial  hall  for  its  soldier  and  sailor  dead  al- 
most a  quarter  of  a  century  ago,  but  it  was  not 
until  1903  that  a  monument  was  dedicated.  On 
June  3d  of  that  year  President  Theodore  Roose- 
velt unfurled  the  stars  and  stripes  over  the  beau- 
tiful building  on  North  Main  street.  The  struc- 
ture is  of  Bedford  stone.  In  the  basement  are 
kitchens  and  storage  rooms :  on  the  second  floor 
the  post  rooms,  memorial  tablets  and  club  rooms, 
while  on  the  third  floor  is  a  large  auditorium  and 


balcony  with  a  seating  capacity  of  eight  hundred. 

In  1885  a  resolution  was  introduced  at  a  meet- 
ing of  the  board  of  supen^isors,  providing  for  an 
appropriation  of  twenty-five  thousand  dollars  for 
a  memorial  hall.  There  was  some  question  about 
the  legality  of  the  appropriation,  and  the  resolu- 
tion failed  of  passage. 

Again  in  1898  the  matter  was  taken  up  by  the 
board.  Attorney  A.  D.  Early  spoke  before  that 
body,  and  everything  seemed  bright  for  an  appro- 
priation. But  once  again  the  plan  failed  because 
the  state's  attorney  held  that  the  board  could  not 
legally  appropriate  money  fo.r  this  purpose. 

Repeated  failures  did  not  dampen  the  ardor  of 
the  friends  of  the  memorial  movement,  and  it  was 
finally  determined  to  appeal  to  the  legislature  for 
assistance. 

A.  D.  Early  drew  up  a  bill  permitting  the  board 
of  supervisors  to  appropriate  the  money  for  a 
memorial,  after  the  matter  had  been  passed  on  by 
the  voters  of  the  county  at  a  general  election. 

Hon.  Henry  Andrus  was  entrusted  with  the 
charge  of  the  measure,  and  he  succeeded  in  secur- 
ing its  passage  by  both  branches  of  the  legisla- 
ture, and  the  governor  affixed  his  signature  there- 
to without  delay. 

All  that  then  remained  to  be  done  was  the  circu- 
lation of  petitions  to  the  supervisors  for  the  sub- 
mission of  the  proposition  to  the  voters  at  the 
November  election  of  1900. 

The  members  of  Nevius  post  and  the  Woman's 
Relief  Corps  took  charge  of  this  feature  and  went 
to  work  with  a  will  circulating  the  petitions.  The 
requisite  number  of  names  were  readilv  secured, 
and  the  petition  duly  presented. 

The  question  went  to  the  people,  was  heartily 
indorsed,  and  the  last  obstacle  in  the  way  of  the 
desired  memorial  was  removed.  The  vote  of  the 
county  stood,  6,021  yeas,  2,757  nays. 

The  board  of  supervisors  went  to  work  with  a 
will.  Bradley  &  Carpenter  were  given  the  con- 
tract to  draw  plans,  and  \Y.  H.  Cook  was  award- 
ed the  contract  for  the  construction  of  the  build- 
ing. President  Roosevelt's  visit  was  made  the 
occasion  of  great  celebration.  It  is  estimated 
that  Rockford  entertained  twenty  thousand  visi- 
tors on  the  third  day  of  June,  and  entertained 
them  royally.  The  day  was  perfect,  and  immense 
crowds  lined  the  sidewalks  to  see  the  nation's  ex- 
ecutive. All-day  exercises  were  held,  and  far  into 
the  night  the  campfires  of  Nevius  post  burned 
brightly. 

SPANISH    WAR  VETERANS. 

^^^^en  the  call  for  troops  came  to  right  the 
wrongs  of  Cuba  and  to  punish  Spain  for  her 
treachery  and  the  destruction  of  the  Maine,  Win- 
nebago county  responded  with  more  than  its  quota 
of  men. 


126 


PAST     AND    TRESFA'T     OF     WIXNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


Rockfonl  tirsi  licanl  that  actual  liuslilitit-s  had 
bcgiin  on  the  afternoon  of  Tluirsdav,  April  21, 
181J-.  Prolonged  whistles  from  the  factories  an- 
nounced the  declaration  of  war.  and  all  classes  of 
]Ko])lc  were  instantly  charged  with  the  military 
sjjirit. 

President  .McKinley  issued  a  call  for  100,000 
men.  and  congress  made  liberal  apijropriations. 
without  a  dissenting  vote  in  either  house.  The 
(|Uota  of  Illinois  under  this  call  was  6,439  "i^"''- 
Two  da\  s  later  fompanies  H  and  K  of  Rockford 
were  on  their  way  to  Siiringfield.  The  towns 
along  the  way  turned  out  to  clieer  them.  At  El- 
gin they  were  joined  by  Comi)any  M.  and  in  Chi- 
cago the  Rochelle  and  \\'oo(lstock  conijianies  were 
added.  .\t  Joliet.  Colonel  P.ennitt  and  staff  and 
tile  company  from  that  city  were  accessions.  The 
regiinent  arrived  at  Camp  Tanner  .\pril  27th. 
AJFter  two  weeks  at  Camp  Tanner  the  boys  left. 
Mav   14th,  for  Chattanooga. 

Rocktord  was  made  more  fully  aware  of  the 
realitv  of  tlie  war  on  the  afternoon  of  May  27th. 
when  a  telegram  came  from  Chattanooga  an- 
nouncing the  death  of  T'irst  lieutenant  C.  E.  .Al- 
mond. The  remains  arrived  in  Rockford  on  Me- 
morial day.  and  were  buried  with  military  honors. 
He  was  the  first  soldier  from  Winnebago  county 
to  die  during  this  war. 

.\fter  weeks  of  waiting,  the  Rockford  boys  re- 
ceived word  to  move  from  Camp  Thomas  in  the 
latter  part  of  Jid.v.  and  Sunday,  July  24th,  found 
them  on  their  way  to  Newport  News,  where  they 
took  the  transport  for  Porto  Rico.  Their  record 
in  the  island  campaign  was  one  of  which  they 
have  reason  to  be  proud. 

One  of  the  sad  incidents  of  the  war  was  the 
death  of  Lieutenant  W.  .\.  Talcott.  Jr..  which  oc- 
curred at  Watch  Hill,  Rhode  Island,  .\ugnst  ^i.st, 
as  the  result  of  illness  contracted  in  the  service. 
He  enlisted  with  the  Seventy-first  New  York 
\'olunteers,  and  was  jiromoted  for  bravery.  Mr. 
Talcott  had  recently  been  admitted  to  the  bar.  and 
a  bright   future  was  apparently  before  him. 

.Another  Winnebago  boy  who  went  to  war  and 
death  was  Harry  Potter.  He  was  a  member  of 
Company  H. 

A  few  davs  later  came  word  of  the  death  of 
Corporal  Lillic.  A  comrade  at  the  time  said : 
"He  was  a  good  soldier  and  never  shirked  his 
duty." 

.Another  Rockford  soldier  who  died  from  dis- 
ease instead  of  bullets  was  Private  Renus  Nelson, 
who  was  a  memlx-r  of  the  First  Wisconsin  Regi- 
ment.    He  died  from  fever  at  the  citv  hos])ital. 

.After  the  hostilities  had  ceased,  the  Rockford 
sokliers  were  kept  on  the  island  for  several  weeks, 
and  finally  sailed  for  home  October  i6th. 

The  Third  Regiment  reached  Rockford  on  its 
return  Friday,  Novemlx'r  nth.  The  return  was 
a  great  event  in  the  history  of  Rockford.     It  was 


estimated  that  twenty  thousand  persons  stood  in 
the  cold  around  the  Illinois  Central  depot  and 
watched  the  trains  bearing  the  soldiers.  It  was 
10  o'clock  before  they  arrived.  There  was  a  big 
clis])lay  of  fireworks  and  a  deafening  discharge  of 
artillery  in  welcome  to  the  men. 

.\  few  days  later  there  was  a  i)ageant  of  peace. 
.V  banquet  was  served  the  returned  soldiers,  and 
there  was  an  immense  parade.  It  was  a  night  of 
red  fire  and  patriotism. 

A  sad  touch  was  given  the  general  atmosphere 
of  rejoicing  by  the  news  of  Jeremiah  Ilooley's 
death  in  Chicago. 

A  few  days  later  the  Rockford  boys  received 
their  discharges  and  had  settled  down  to  the  pur- 
suits of  peace. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  members  of  Com- 
panies H   and  K  : 

rOMP.\NV   II. 

Captain — \\'illiam  H.   P.rogunier. 

Finst  Lieutenant — Charles  E.   .Almond. 

Second  Lieutenant — William  H.  Sarver. 

First  Sergeant — George   Searle. 

Quartermaster-Sergeant — Harry  E.  Brogunier. 

Sergeants — .Axel  L.  Hulten.  Herbert  L.  P>ack- 
us.  Fred  L.  Auchter,  Harry  T.  Potter. 

Corporals — Peter  Lindberg.  l-'rank  E.  Osljorn, 
Fritz  Johnson.  Ed  C.  Johnson,  W.  C.  King.  .An- 
ton Johnson,  C.  Rov  Speake.  Fred  W.  Farmiloe, 
John  W.  Pctrie,  Henry  Sanders,  George  H. 
riaker.  Gihnore  Grant. 

Musicians — William  II.  Stuckev,  Stillman 
\'alley :  Louis  W.  Miles. 

.Artificer — George  H.  Allen. 

Wagoner — Charles  E.  Richardson. 

Privates — Charles  E.  .Adamson,  Roy  .Archer, 
.August  L.  .Vpplegren.  Leon  M.  Baldwin.  Streat- 
or :  James  L.  Basford.  Frank  B.  Basford,  Clar- 
ence C.  Bover,  Richar<l  Boyer,  Joseph  Boyer, 
George  L.  Baxter,  Louis  M.  Barker,  Isaac  W, 
Breckcnridge,  London,  Pa.:  Swan  Carlson, 
Giarles  E.  Carlson.  .Arthur  P>.  Carr,  Sullivan  L. 
Clark,  Joseph  Caldwell,  James  Coyne.  Edward  E. 
Cowles,  Edgar  E.  Campbell.  Henry  J.  Dillon, 
Charles  J.  Dillon,  II.  J.  Dickerman,  Hiram  R, 
Drake,  Fort  .Atkin.son,  W'isconsin  ;  John  Garry, 
John  J.  Hooley,  Joseph  .A.  Hunter,  Edward 
Houseman,  Fred  Johnson,  Ix>uis  W.  Jones,  John 
R.  Tohnson.  David  F.  King.  .Andrew  T.  Lawler, 
.Mbert  E.  I^imb.  John  W.' Lindell.  P.ert  J.  Lin- 
dell.  Richard  H.  Limigberg.  Otto  Lundin.  Frank 
E.  Mahon.  Peter  J.  McGrath.  William  F.  Mur- 
phv,  Richard  Noreen,  O.scar  G.  Olson,  .Albert 
O'Garr.  Harry  E.  Osgood,  Frank  G.  Parker, 
lames  W.  Paxton.  Rudolph  L.  Peterson,  Rudolph 
.\.  Perterson,  Charles  Sederstrom,  Charles  Sea- 
lander,  Gustav  Schmidtz.  George  H.  Shepard, 
Tohn   .'"^inilh.  John  ,\.  Tavlor,  I^wrence  Taylor, 


PAST     AXD     IT-JESEXT     OF     WIXXEBAGO     COUXTY. 


127 


Edward  Ta}-lor,  Eugene  Tunison.  Emil  \'an 
Holsbeke,  Frank  H.  Welch.  Abe  L.  YingHng. 
Recruits — Gustave  G.  Boetcher,  Milwaukee : 
Mark  M.  Butler,  Belvidere ;  Joseph  Bath,  Thomas 
Blachford.  Belvidere ;  Arthur  R.  Davis.  Joliet ; 
Albert  L.  Ferree,  Coldwatcr,  ^lich. ;  Richard 
Flynn.  Belvidere ;  Josepn  Flannerv.  Belvidere ; 
Louis  Gastman,  Jerry  F.  Holey.  Robert  A.  Hunt- 
er. Clarence  Hunieston.  Henry  S.  Hensel,  Oscar 
A.  Jackson.  William  S.  Lawman.  Belvidere:  John 
J.  AIcGrath.  Andrew  F.  Alaloney,  Belvidere ; 
Oron  McConel.  William  Outcalt.  Yerman  Out- 
calt.  Edward  C.  Osmus,  Roy  M.  Phelps,  Belvi- 
dere :  John  ^^'.  Roderick,  Belvidere  ;  Edward  ^^^ 
Roderick,  Belvidere ;  John  E.  Randolph,  Garden 
Prairie:  Henry  Schmitz,  Peoria;  Fred  B.  Stock- 
well. 

COMPANY     K. 

Captain — Edwin  E.  Leonard. 

First  Lieutenant — James  A.  Ruggles. 

Second  Lieutenant — Ernest  L.  Hess. 

First  Sergeant — Lee  Lemaire. 

Quartermaster-Sergeant — Eric    Swcnbcig. 

Sergeants — Edward  A.  Ouinn.  Frank  ?il,  Hull. 
Frank  Smith,  ^^'ill   AlcDermaid. 

Corporals — \\'alter  1!.  Tavlor.  Eric  Kjellgren, 
Walter  Wall,  Samuel  C.  Hull  Fred  J.  Corey'."  Lu- 
man  P..  Lillie.  William  M.  Banner,  Fred  H. 
Wlieeler.  George  A.  Trumbo,  Will  J.  Barbour, 
John    B.    Chaney. 

Musicians — Charles  E.  Frank.  Knutt  O.  Juh- 
Hn. 

Artificer — Richard  Anderson. 

Privates — Charles  E.  Anderson,  Fred  C.  Bar- 
bour. Charles  G.  Bowman.  Joseph  H.  Bryden. 
Thatcher  B.  Bean.  Frank  Betts.  Williams  Buske. 
Oscar  X.  Danielson.  Bert  Dundon,  Richard  Al. 
Eylward,  Edward  H.  Engqnist,  Emil  Flood.  Wil- 
got  Flood.  Fred  Fellows.  Joseph  Frost,  Gust  T. 
Gustafson.  Robert  K.  Gustafson.  Charles  G.  Gns- 
tafson.  Harold  R.  Gaston.  James  H.  Galloway, 
Charles  O.  Harper.  Lycurgus  A.  Hall,  Joseph  B, 
Hoffman,  Clinton  S.  Holmes,  Benjamin  A.  Hun- 
ter. John  Hagenson,  Harrv  Hunter.  Jason  B.  Is- 
bell.  Eric  S.  Johnson.  Louis  H.  Johnson,  Frank 
A.  Jordan,  Chicago :  Elmer  R.  Johnson.  Axel 
Kjellgren.  Paul  R.  Klentz,  \'ictor  Liliydahl,  Paul 
C.  Loveland,  Peter  A.  Larson,  Robert  S.  Lane, 
^^'illianl  H.  Mcintosh,  Israel  X^.  ^^futimer,  George 
Matthews,  Harry  Nelson,  Fred  R.  Olson.  \Tctor 
C.  Olson,  Henry  Odenahl,  Ed  Ostness,  Edwin 
Oberg,  Floyd  Osmus,  George  Pitney,  Harry  M. 
Putnam,  Harry  A.  Parson,  Frank  R.  Ridgley, 
Matthew  Ryan,  Wilbur  P.  Raymond.  Charles  F. 
Strong.  Linus  Selin.  Bruce  W.  Savage.  Grant 
Shields,  Otto  Stohlgren.  Carl  R.  Savage,  Charles 
A.  Thorne.  George  Whitmore.  Recruits — Lewis 
Ahlberg,  Belvidere;  Charles  G.  Barnes,  Byron; 
Frank  Blank,  Belvidere ;  John  F.  Clayton,  Belvi- 


dere;  Louis  J.  Caswell,  Claus  Ekstedt,  Cherry 
\'nllrv  :  Wdiinm  Fallon,  Evert  J.  Garlock,  Byron ; 
Israel  J.  Ferris,  Robert  B.  Hart,  Byron  ;  Charles 
E.  Gooman,  Guy  Holland.  Herman  Huffman. 
Adolph  Johnson,  John  E,  Jones,  Ernest  Kilgore, 
Byron  ;  Otto  Koch,  Belvidere ;  Henry  C,  Lane, 
Byron ;  George  Monroe,  Belvidere ;  Martin  F. 
Xally,  Byron  :  Clarence  C.  X'elson.  George  Patter- 
son, Steven  Powell.  Joseph  H.  L^nderwood.  By- 
ron ;  Frans  A.  Titus,  Clarence  G.  Tetlow,  Belvi- 
dere ;  Ernest  D.  Wallace. 

Other    Rockford    boys    who    enlisted    for    the 
Spanish- American  war  were : 

Third  Illinois  Regiment — Companv  A :  Charles 
R.  Gipe,  Axel  L.  Kjellgren. 

Company  D :  Howard  C.  Carpenter.  James 
McConnell. 

Company  F :  Selwyn  L.  Clark,  Charles  Jen- 
kins, Charles  Sederstorm. 

Company  G:  Richard  Anderson,  Rav  T. 
Barnes,  Robert  S.  Farrar. 

Company  M :  Frank  W.  Adams.  Ernest  V. 
Johnson.  William  J.  Myers.  C.  A.  George  Sahlin. 

Sixth  Regiment,  Infantry — Companv  L:  John 
M.   Keefe. 

Seventh  Regiment.  Infantry — Companv  L: 
Guy  L.  Harvey. 

Company  M  :     Dennis  Owens. 

Eighth  Regiment.  Infantry — Harry  S.  Mc- 
Card. 

Third  Neljraska.  Infantry — W^arren  H.  Rav. 

First  L'.  S.  Engineers — Comjjany  F :  ^^^  D. 
Kewish. 

First  IJ.  S.  \'ol.  Infantrv — Company  B  :  P. 
^^■.  Doolittle. 

Fortieth  Wisconsin  Infantrv — Companv  B ; 
William  H.  Fitch. 

First  Regiment.  Fifth  Wisconsin  Artillery — 
Josiah  C.  Forbes. 

Third  Alissouri  Cavalrv — Company  G;  George 
H.  Forbes. 

Second  U.  S.  \'.  Engineers.  Second  Battalion — 
C.   Kingley  Ray. 

Fifty-first  Iowa  Infantry — Company  B  :  El- 
mer G.  Stockberger. 

Arthur  E.  Fisher  went  to  the  front  with  the 
Third  Regiment  as  lieutenant-colonel.  In  1899 
he  was  elected  colonel  of  the  Third  Re.giment, 
and  served  the  full  term  of  five  years.  He  was 
re-elected  in  1904.  and  resigned  in  the  spring  of 
1905.  after  having  rendered  nineteen  years  of 
military  service  to  the  state. 

INSTITUTIONS    OF    PHILANTHROPY. 

ROCKFORD    HCSPITALS. 

During  the  year  1883  the  subject  of  organizing 
a  hospital  for  the  city  of  Rockford  became  an 
object  of  much  interest,  both  to  the  medical  pro- 


128 


PAST     AXD    TRESENT    OF    WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


fession  and  to  the  comiminity  at  large,  .\inoiig 
the  physicians  especially  interested  in  the  move- 
ment were  the  late  T.  (i.  Vincent,  W. 
H.  Fitch  and  F.  H.  Kimhall.  The  sub- 
ject elicited  much  attention  at  the  meet- 
ings of  the  medical  society  of  the  coun- 
ty, and  in  the  autumn  of  1883  resulted  in  the  ap- 
pointment of  a  committee  to  secure  a  corporate 
e.xistcnce  under  the  laws  of  the  state.  The  com- 
mittee so  appointed  made  application  and  received 
from  the  secretary  of  state  a  certificate  of  organ- 
ization, under  date  of  December  15,  1883.  The 
incorporators  were  Drs.  A.  E.  Goodwin,  Silas  A. 
Austin.  Frank  H.  Kimball,  Frank  K.  Hill.  Lem- 
uel Tibbcts.  Thomas  G.  Vincent. 

It  was  the  desire  of  the  promoters  to  secure  the 
co-operation  of  the  churches,  and  the  selection  of 
trustees  was  made  with  this  end  in  view.  The 
original  board  consisted  of  the  following  citizens: 
William  A.  Talcott,  William  Lathrop,  Norman 
C.  Thompson,  William  Brown,  Jeremiah  Davis, 
H.  W.  Carpenter.  John  Z.  Rydberg,  Thour 
Munthe,  R.  P.  Lane.  R.  F.  Whipple.  Thomas 
Butterworth.  Frances  I.  Price,  ;\Iary  H.  Penfield, 
Jane  G.  Wilkins,  Adeline  E.  Emerson. 

Upon  the  completion  of  the  organization  the 
physicians,  by  choice,  were  no  longer  officially 
identified  with  the  hospital  association.  A  num- 
ber of  the  original  board  have  been  called  by 
death,  and  in  several  instances  their  sons  have 
been  chosen  to  succeed  them. 

.At  a  meeting  held  January  29,  1884,  a  tempo- 
rary organization  was  effected  by  the  election  of 
William  Brown  as  chairman  and  William  .\.  Tal- 
cott as  secretary  of  the  board  of  trustees.  .Vt  a 
meeting  held  April  8,  1884,  a  constitution  and 
by-laws  were  adopted.  A  permanent  organiza- 
tion was  effected  by  the  election  of  the  following 
officers :  President,  William  Brown  ;  vice-presi- 
dent, Mrs.  Jane  G.  Wilkins ;  secretary  and  treas- 
urer. William  A.  Talcott. 

Shares  were  placed  at  $10  each,  and  were  taken 
by  a  large  number  of  the  citizens.  Selden  M. 
Cliurch  took  thirty  shares :  Dr.  Fitch,  thirty 
shares;  Dr.  R.  P.  Lane,  fifty  .shares;  Emerson, 
Talcott  &  Co.,  fifty  shares  ;  Thomas  D.  Robertson, 
fifty  shares ;  Horatio  Stone,  fifty  shares. 

June  21,  1884,  the  board  of  trustees  met  to  con- 
sider the  question  of  the  selection  and  purchase 
of  suitable  hospital  grounds.  At  this  meeting 
several  propositions  for  location  were  canvassed, 
.^niong  these  was  the  proposition  of  Dr.  W.  H. 
Fitch  for  the  sale  to  the  association  of  his  prop- 
erty, consisting  of  a  plat  of  about  125  feet  front- 
age on  South  Court  street  by  156  feet  deep,  and 
having  a  south  and  east  exposure,  at  the  price  of 
$6,800 — $300  payable  in  certificates  of  member- 
ship. The  trustees,  as  a  body,  examined  the  prop- 
erty, and  thereafter  passed  the  following  resolu- 
tion, viz. : 


"Resolved.  That  we  deem  it  wise  that  the  asso- 
ciation shall  at  once  take  necessary  steps  to  pro- 
cure hospital  grounds." 

The  following  resolution  was  unanimously 
adopted : 

"Resolved,  That  the  president  and  secretary  be 
and  hereby  are  authorized  to  accept  the  proposi- 
tion of  Dr.  W.  H.  Fitch  for  the  sale  of  his  proper- 
ty of  125  front  on  Court  street.  West  Rockford, 
for  the  use  of  the  association,  and  make  the  nec- 
essary papers  therefor,  unless  more  favorable 
terms  can  be  obtained." 

By  subsequent  arrangement  with  Dr.  Fitch,  the 
association  purchased  the  property,  paying  there- 
for $6,200  cash  and  $300  in  certificates  of  mem- 
bership. The  property  was  fully  paid  for,  and 
the  deed  made  and  delivered  on  July  i.  1885,  at 
which  time  the  association  received  possession. 

When  the  property  was  paid  for  and  the  title 
obtained,  the  association  immediately  proceeded 
to  make  such  repairs  and  changes  as  were  re- 
quired to  adapt  the  building,  as  far  as  practicable, 
to  hospital  uses.  The  hospital  opened  October  i, 
1885.  Dr.  S.  A.  Austin  and  Dr.  F.  H.  Kimball 
were  the  first  attending  physician  and  surgeon, 
respectively.  Drs.  R.  P.  Lane  and  D.  S.  Clark 
were  the  first  consulting  ])hysicians.  and  Drs.  W. 
II.  Fitch  and  Henry  Richings  the  first  consulting 
.surgeons.  The  first  patient  was  received  Octo- 
ber  loth. 

Mrs.  Martha  J.  Smith,  more  familiarly  known 
as  ".'Vunt  Jane,"  was  the  first  matron.  She  as- 
sumed this  responsibility  October  i,  1885,  and 
faithfully  administered  its  duties  nearly  fifteen 
years,  until  .\pril,  1900.  Miss  Lizzie  C.  Glenn 
was  appointed  matron  March  28,  igoo.  She  re- 
signed April  6,  1901.  and  Miss  Flora  B.  Patch 
(now  Mrs.  A.  D.  Early)  was  appointed.  Miss 
Patch  resigned  November  i,  1902.  and  Miss  Alma 
M.  Barter  received  the  aiapointment.  which  posi- 
tion she  now  holds.     Miss  Loring  is  assistant. 

Hospital  Sunday  was  established  in  the 
churches  October  10.  1885,  by  a  resolution  of  the 
hospital  trustees,  which  has  since  been  maintained 
with  a  very  liberal  spirit. 

In  1888  steps  were  taken  to  provide  a  perma- 
nent fund  for  the  maintenance  of  the  hospital. 
The  ammmt  of  this  finul  in  round  numbers  is 
about  fifty  thousand  dollars. 

In  1887  a  new  hospital  building  was  erected, 
fronting  on  Chestnut  street.  In  1901  Mrs.  Ade- 
line E.  Emerson,  in  memory  of  her  deceased  son, 
Ralph  Emerson,  Jr.,  contributed  the  funds  for 
an  addition  to  the  hospital  for  an  operating  room 
and  office.  In  1904  a  s)ilendid  addition  was  erect- 
ed on  the  site  of  the  first  hospital  building,  at  a 
cost  of  alxiut  fifty  thousand  dollars. 

William  Brown  served  as  president  from  1884 
to  1886.  William  Lathrop  from  1886  to  1887.  Ho- 
ratio Stone  from  1887  to  January  29,  1896.  when 


PAST     AND    PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


129 


his  death  occurred.  Wilham  Lathrop  was  elected 
to  fill  the  vacancy  caused  by  the  death  of  Mr. 
Stone,  which  office  he  has  since  continuously  held. 

W.  A.  Talcott  served  as  secretary  and  treasurer 
of  the  hospital  from  its  inception  to  the  time  of 
his  death,  which  occurred  in  Palestine,  December 
19,  1900.  The  success  of  the  institution  is  in 
large  measure  due  to  his  liberality  and  untiring 
effort.  His  son.  Wait  Talcott,  was  elected  to  the 
position  so  ably  filled  by  his  father,  April  6,  1901, 
which  position  he  now  holds. 

The  largest  gift  to  the  hospital  fund  was  from 
the  estate  of  Horatio  Stone,  which  was  $27,000; 
the  next  largest  is  from  W.  A.  Talcott  and  fam- 
ily, $12,000,  and  A.  D.  Forbes  and  family,  $10,- 
500.  Several  others  have  contributed  from  $2,400 
to  $5,000. 

During  the  fiscal  year  ending  April  i,  1904, 
482  patients  were  received  for  treatment. 

The  present  board  of  trustees  are  John  Barnes, 
H.  H.  Robinson,  Mrs.  E.  P.  Lathrop,  Walter  A. 
Forbes.  P.  A.  Peterson,  L.  L.  Morrison,  William 
C.  Butterworth,  Wait  Talcott,  B.  F.  Whipple, 
Katherine  M.  Keeler.  Frank  R.  Brown.  Antes  S. 
Ruhl,  John  H.  Sherratt,  William  Lathrop,  Kate 
F.  O'Connor. 

ST.   ANTHONY  H0SPIT.\L. 

Although  but  six  years  old,  St.  .\nthony  hos- 
pital has  become  one  of  the  substantial  institutions 
of  our  progressive   city. 

Some  seven  or  eight  years  ago  about  a  half 
dozen  physicians  associated  themselves  together 
with  the  object  in  view  of  establishing  a  hospital 
for  East  Rockford — "A  hospital,"  said  one  of  the 
staff,  "whose  advantages  might  be  enjoyed  by  any 
phvsician  or  surgeon  entitled  to  practice  his  art 
in  the  state  of  Illinois."  The  maintenance  of  this 
liberal  policy  in  the  conduct  of  its  aft'airs  has  been 
one  of  the  most  potent  features  in  the  success  of 
the  hospital.  Early  in  its  history  the  late  William 
Crotty  became  interested  in  the  project,  and  gave 
of  his  time,  money  and  strength  to  raise  means  to 
purchase  a  site. 

The  Sisters  of  St.  Francis,  whose  headquarters 
are  at  Peoria,  were  invited  to  visit  Rockford  and 
select  a  location.  They  accepted  the  invitation 
and  selected  the  present  site  at  1401  East  State 
street.  The  purchasing  price  of  this  property  was 
$12,000,  one-half  of  which  was  furnished  by  the 
Sisters.  Three  thousand  dollars  was  the  personal 
contribution  of  physicians  who  are  members  of 
the  staff.  The  remaining  three  thousand  dollars 
necessary  for  the  purchasing  price  was  given  by 
friends  of  Rockford  and  Winnebago  county. 

The  property,  title  and  entire  management  of 
the  hospital  is  vested  in  the  Sisters'  society — a 
plan  desired  even  by  those  most  intimately  asso- 
ciated in  its  origin,  as  it  made  it  possible  for  all 
9 


physicians  to  pursue  their  work  there  upon  an 
even  footing. 

The  large  brick  residence  which  stood  upon  the 
property  was  fitted  up  by  the  Sisters,  and  in  Au- 
gust, 1899,  the  hospital  was  opened  for  the  re- 
ception of  patients.  The  patronage  given  was  so 
liberal  that  within  two  years  accommodations 
could  not  be  afforded  all  the  patients  seeking  ad- 
mission. To  provide  for  this,  an  addition  was 
erected  at  the  cost  of  $60,000.  The  corner-stone 
was  laid  May  22,  1902,  and  in  March,  1903,  the 
new  building  was  formally  opened.  This  im- 
provement enables  the  hospital  to  accommodate 
sixty  patients. 

This  order  of  Sisters  maintains  seven  other 
hospitals  in  various  cities  of  Illinois,  Iowa  and 
Michigan,  and  they  must  be  accorded  great  praise 
for  their  tact,  thrift  and  industry,  which  have 
made  the  success  of  these  enterprises  possible.  On 
the  other  hand,  the  Sisters  are  keenly  appreciative 
of  the  help  and  sympathy  given  their  work  from 
the  city  and  county  and  from  the  many  kind 
friends  everywhere. 

St.  Anthony  hospital  is  thoroughly  equipped 
for  scientific  work,  and  with  its  new  building  and 
beautiful,  spacious  grounds,  is  one  of  the  most 
attractive  spots  in  Rockford. 

The  following  physicians  are  members  of  the 
hospital  staff : 

Attending  surgeons,  Drs,  I.  E.  Allaben,  P.  L. 
:\Iarkley.  Frank  ""K.  Hill. 

Consulting  surgeons,  Drs.  J.  ]\Iurphy.  Weller 
Van  Hook,  T.  J.  Watkins,  all  of  Chicago. 

Attending  physicians,  Drs.  S.  C.  Andrus.  A.  J. 
]\Iarkley,  Belvidere. 

Oculists,  Drs.  L.  Tibbets,  Grant  Hatch. 

WINNEB.\GO    COUNTY    HOi[E    FOR    THE    .AGED. 

For  many  years  observant  people  had  recog- 
nized the  need  of  a  comfortable  home  in  which 
the  aged  poor  could  receive  proper  care.  No 
existing  organization  fully  met  this  demand.  In 
recognition  of  this  fact,  and  in  response  to  a 
public  call,  a  number  of  citizens  of  Rockford  and 
vicinity  convened  at  the  Nelson  House,  July  7, 
1904,  to  discuss  the  project  of  establishing  a  home 
for  the  aged  of  Winnebago  county.  Among  those 
present  at  this  first  meeting  were  Mesdames  B. 
R.  Waldo.  Chandler  Starr,*"  M.  B.  St.  John.  M. 
R.  Harned,  J.  M.  Fraley.  Hervey,  of  Dubuque : 
Misses  Kate  F.  O'Connor,  Ama  Taylor,  Rev.  R. 
C.  Brvant.  Messrs.  Charles  Sabin,  G.  Nordstrom 
and  B.  R.  Waldo. 

Mt.  Nordstrom  started  a  fund  with  a  gift  of 
$500.  A  temporary  organization  was  effected, 
with  Rev.  R.  C.  Bryant  as  chairman  and  Miss 
Kate  F.  O'Connor  secretary.  A  committee  of 
five  on  constitution  and  by-laws  was  appointed  by 
the  chair.     An  adjourned  session  was  held  July 


I30 


PAST     AND     PRESEXT    OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUXTY. 


14th,  at  which  time  the  conimittee  on  constitution 
and  by-laws  submitted  its  report,  which,  after 
a  few  sli.irht  amenilnients,  was  adopted.  Tlie  fol- 
lowing names  were  subscribed,  which  form  the 
cliarter  membership  of  the  association  :  G.  Xord- 
strom,  Charles  Sabin,  Ama  Taylor,  Kate  F. 
O'Connor,  Susan  H.  Rogers,  P.  M.  Snvdcr,  F.  H. 
Rodman,  B.  R.  Waldo,  Mary  M.  Burchfield,  Fan- 
nie B.  Waldo.  Stella  R.  Ricker.  Annetta  G.  Mari- 
ner. Blanche  Ellis  Starr.  Ellen  M.  St.  John.  Mrs. 
11.  II.  Robinson.  Mrs.  (ieorjje  Manny.  Mrs.  M. 
H.  Lane  and  Mrs.  L.  A.  Weylnirn. 

Charles  Sabin  became  a  life  member  by  sub- 
scribing' $100.  A  committee  on  nominations  w-as 
ap])ointcd,  which  reported  at  an  adjourned  meet- 
ing, held  Jiily  2 1  St.  On  that  date  a  full  board  of 
managers  were  elected,  as  follows :  For  one  year, 
.Mesdames  Jeanette  C.  Robinson,  Adeline  E. 
Thom])son.  .-Mice  Shoults.  Messrs.  Charles  F. 
Jackson,  (J.  Xordstrom.  George  W.  Collins ;  for 
two  years.  Mesdames  .\niia  R.  Page,  M.  R.  Har- 
ned.  Kate  F.  O'Connor,  Messrs.  Robert  C.  Lind, 

D.  B.  Redington.  A.  S.  T.  Ogilby :  for  three  years. 
Mesdames  IJlanche  Ellis  Starr,  May  Brow-n 
Buckbee.  Byron  Graham,  Fannie  B.  Waldo,  H. 
Helena  Weyburn,  S.  .A.  Johnson.  The  following 
officers  for  the  year  were  elected :  H.  Helena 
Weyburn.  president:  Mrs.  Fannie  Pi.  Waldo,  vice- 
president  ;  Kate  F.  O'Connor,  secretary  :  Robert 
C.  Lind.  treasurer.  The  lioard  was  instructed  to 
incorporate  under  the  laws  of  Illinois.  .\t  a  sub- 
sequent meeting  rules  for  the  matron  and  gov- 
ernment of  the  home  and  a  set  of  a])i)lication 
blanks  were  adoi)ted.  The  officers  were  consti- 
tuted a  conimittee  to  select  a  site.  This  commit- 
tee recommended  the  leasing  of  the  Crawford 
homestead.  408  Xorth  Horsman  street,  at  a  rental 
of  $25  per  month.  This  ])roposition  met  the  ap- 
proval of  the  board,  and  the  committee  was  in- 
structed to  close  negotiations  for  the  same.  Ma- 
ria G.  Hobart  w-as  elected  matron  for  one  year 
from  October  i,   1904- 

The  home  was  formally  opened  October  2. 
ir>04.  It  ])roved  a  veritable  shower  day.  Furni- 
ture, provisions,  clothing,  checks  and  cash  were 
received,  and  the  tables  were  laden  with  gifts 
from  the  generous  people  of  Rockford  and  vicin- 
ity. The  home  is  now  filled.  There  have  been 
thirteen  inmates,  two  of  whom  have  died.  These 
were  Mrs.  Caroline  Wyman  and  Xancy  Holdcn 
Brown. 

Through  the  efforts  of  Mrs.  Chandler  .Starr 
and  Mrs.  M.  R.  Harned,  of  the  ways  and  means 
committee,  the  board  of  supervisors  made  an  ap- 
propriatif)n  of  $500  for  the  home. 

Mrs.   May   Brown   Buckbee  and   Mrs.   .Xdeline 

E.  Thompson  have  resigned  from  the  board,  and 
Mrs.  E.  P.  Catlin  and  Miss  .\nna  Beattie  have 
l)cen  chosen  to  succee<!  them. 


At  a  meeting  held  in  July.  1905,  the  board 
voted  to  invest  in  a  pemianent  home.  The  pres- 
ent home  known  as  the  Crawford  jiropcrty  seemed 
most  available  and  reasonable,  and  it  was  there- 
fore selected,  at  a  consideration  of  $6,500.  As 
the  society  had  $5.cxx)  on  hand,  a  loan  was  nego- 
tiated at  a  bank  for  the  balance,  and  the  amount 
of  the  purchase  price  was  paid  in   full. 

R0STI:K    Ol"    ROCK  FORD    MAYORS. 

Rockford  was  incorporated  as  a  city  in  1852. 
I'nder  its  original  charter,  the  mayor  was  elected 
annually. 

Willard  Wheeler  was  the  first  mayor  of  Rock- 
ford. He  came  from  St.  Thomas,  L^pper  Canada, 
in  September,  1839.  He  was  the  second  tinner  in 
the  town.  Mr.  \Vheeler  was  a  brother  of  the  late 
Solomon  Wheeler. 

The  second  mayor  was  Hiram  R.  Maynard. 
Pie  came  to  Rockf(jrd  in  1837  with  his  brother- 
in-law.  Benjamin  Kilburn.  Mr.  Maynard  con- 
ducted a  general  store  in  a  one-story  frame  build- 
ing on  the  Masonic  temple  site.  It  was  subse- 
quently used  by  the  late  C.  A.  Huntington  as  an 
academy.  The  Second  Congregational  church 
was  organi7.cd  in  this  building.  A  daughter  of 
Mr.  Ma\nard  is  a  local  .Salvation  .Army  worker. 

I'lysscs  M.  Warner  was  the  third  mayor,  elect- 
ed in  1854.  He  carried  on  a  general  store  on 
West  State  street  with  Hiram  R.  Maynard.  and 
later  was  in  business  alone.  Mr.  Warner  built 
the  C.  F.  Henry  block,  and  Warner's  hall  was  the 
jiopular  lecture  and  concert  hall  for  many  years. 
Ralph  Waldo  Emerson  and  other  celebrities  lec- 
tured there.  H.  S.  and  the  late  Charles  F. 
Warner   were   sons. 

Edward  \'aughn  was  elected  in  1855,  and 
served  one  term.  He  was  in  partnership  with  his 
brother-in-law.  Charles  F.  Lewis,  father  of  Fay, 
Harry  \\'.  and  C.  Herbert  Lewis.  They  con- 
ducted a  general  store  on  the  site  of  .Vrmstrong's 
clothing  store. 

James  L.  Loop  was  elected  in  1856.  Especial 
mention  has  been  made  of  Mr.  Loop  in  another 
part  of  this  history.  Further  reference  is  made 
to  him  in  the  article  on  The  Bench  and  Bar. 

William  Brown  was  elected  in  1857.  Mr. 
Brown  is  mentioned  more  fully  in  the  article  on 
The  liench  and  Bar. 

.Seely  Perry  was  elected  in  1858.  He  was  a 
prominent  lumber  merchant  of  Rockford  for  more 
than  half  a  century.  He  was  a  native  of  Stock- 
bridge,  Massachusetts,  where  he  was  bom  in  1822. 
He  was  graduated  from  I'nion  College  and  came 
to  Rockford  in  1851.  Mr.  PerrA-  also  ser\ed  the 
city  as  alderman,  member  of  the  board  of  educa- 
tion and  a  director  of  the  public  library. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


131 


Charles  Williams  was  elected  in  1859,  and 
served  five  years.  He  is  known  as  the  '"war 
mavor,"  and  has  the  distinction  of  having  been 
elected  more  consecutive  terms  than  any  other  cit- 
izen who  has  held  that  office.  He  would  have 
been  chosen  again,  but  positively  declined.  Mr. 
\\^illiams  was  a  native  of  Massachusetts  and  came 
to  Rockford  in  1855.  He  died  in  1876.  Miss 
Elizabeth  Williams  is  a  daughter. 

Albert  Fowler  was  elected  in  1864,  and  served 
two  years.  He  possessed  a  competence  when  he 
came  to  the  city,  and  lived  a  retired  life.  He  sub- 
sequentlv  suffered  some  reverses.  He  was  fath- 
er-in-law of  E.  H.  Griggs,  at  one  time  editor  of 
the  Rockford  Register. 

Edward  H.  Baker  was  elected  in  1866.  Fur- 
ther mention  is  made  of  him  in  the  chapter  on 
The  Bench  and  Bar. 

Mr.  Fowler  was  elected  for  a  second  term  in 
1867,  and  Mr.  Baker  again  succeeded  Mr.  Fow- 
ler in   1868. 

Sevniour  G.  Bronson  was  elected  in  1869,  and 
served  four  3'ears.  In  1872  Mr.  Bronson  was  the 
democratic  nominee  for  member  of  congress,  and 
was  defeated  by  General  Stephen  A.  Hurlbut.  of 
Belvidere.  Mrs.  Calista  J.  Smith,  of  Rockford, 
is  a  sister  of  Mr.  Bronson. 

Gilbert  Woodrufif  was  elected  in  1873,  and 
served  two  years.  He  came  to  Rockford  in  1857, 
and  soon  after  he  purchased  and  platted  a  farm, 
which  is  now  known  as  Woodruff's  addition.  He 
was  therefore  one  of  the  real  builders  of  Rock- 
ford. Mr.  Woodrufif  died  in  October,  1903.  He 
was  president  of  the  Rockford  National  bank 
from  its  organization  to  his  death,  president  of 
the  Forest  City  Furniture  company  from  1875, 
and  president  of  the  Forest  City  Insurance  com- 
pany from  its  organization  in  1873. 

Robert  H.  Tinker  was  elected  in  1875.  He 
was  born  in  Honolulu,  Sandwich  Islands,  where 
his  father.  Rev.  Reuben  Tinker,  was  a  mission- 
ary, sent  out  by  the  Presbyterian  church.  Mr. 
Tinker  came  to  Rockford  in  1856,  ami  built  the 
Swiss  cottage,  the  most  picturesque  home  in  the 
city.  In  1870  he  married  the  widow  of  John  H. 
Manny.  She  died  in  1901.  In  1904  he  married 
Mrs.  Jessie  Dorr  Hurd.  Mr.  Tinker  has  been 
interested  in  various  manufacturing  enterprises 
on  the  water-power. 

Levi  Rhoades  was  elected  in  1876.  Few  citi- 
zens of  Rockford  have  been  identified  with  as 
many  interests  as  Mr.  Rhoades.  He  was  a  large 
stockholder  in  the  Rockford  paper  mills,  presi- 
dent of  the  Rockford  W'atch  company,  and  one 
of  the  original  promoters  of  the  old  city  railway. 
He  also  had  investments  in  other  enterprises. 

Duncan  Ferguson  was  mayor  from  1877  to 
1878.  He  was  a  native  of  Glasgow,  Scotland, 
came  to  America  in  1837.  and  settled  in  Rockford 
two  years  later.     In   1862  he  was  appointed  as- 


sessor of  internal  revenue,  and  retained  this  office 
eight  years.  He  also  held  the  positions  of  city 
engineer,  assessor  and  county  treasurer. 

William  Watson  was  elected  in  1878.  He  was 
the  founder  of  the  Rockford  Insurance  company 
and  was  its  secretary  up  to  the  time  of  his  death. 

Sylvester  B.  Wilkins  succeeded  Mr.  Watson 
in  1879,  and  served  two  years.  He  is  a  native  of 
New  York,  and  came  to  Rockford  in  1870.  He 
was  president  of  the  Rockford  bolt  works,  and 
later  of  the  Wilkins  Knitting  company. 

Samuel  P.  Crawford  was  elected  in  1881,  and 
served  two  years.  It  was  during  his  term  that 
important  steps  were  taken  toward  establishing  a 
waterworks  system.  Upon  the  failure  of  the  N. 
C.  Thompson  Manufacturing  company,  Mr, 
Crawford  was  appointed  assignee,  and  adminis- 
tered the  affairs  very  successfully. 

Alfred  Taggart  was  elected  in  1883,  and  served- 
four  years.  The  distinctive  feature  of  his  admin- 
istration was  the  reorganization  of  the  public 
schools  of  the  city.  The  city  council  was  a  tie  on 
the  selection  of  a  high  school  site,  and  it  was  Mr. 
Taggart's  casting  vote  that  decided  the  contro- 
versy in  favor  of  the  east  side. 

H.  C.  Scovill  has  served  the  city  in  more  im- 
portant official  capacities  than  any  other  citizen. 
Mr.  Scovill  came  to  Rockford  in  1865  and  en- 
gaged in  the  lumber  business.  He  was  a  member 
of  the  board  of  supervisors  five  years,  and  alder- 
man in  the  city  council  eight  years,  from  1878  to 
1886.  In  1887  he  was  elected  mayor,  and  served 
one  term.  In  1897  he  was  elected  city  clerk,  and 
still  holds  the  office. 

John  H.  Sherratt  was  chosen  mayor  in  1889, 
and  served  one  term.  He  is  a  native  of  Winne- 
bago county.  In  18(12  he  enlisted  as  a  private  in 
the  Seventy-fourth  Illinois  Infantrv,  and  was 
mustered  out  with  the  rank  of  captain.  For  manv 
years  after  the  war  he  was  associated  with  the 
Rockford  Insurance  company,  and  subsequently 
became  secretary  of  the  Forest  City  Insurance 
company.  Mr.  Sherratt  succeeded  the  late  A.  C. 
Spafford  as  president  of  the  Third  National  bank. 

Henry  N.  Starr  was  elected  mayor  in  189T,  and 
served  two  years.  Mayor  Starr  was  the  first  to 
appoint  ladies  on  the  board  of  education  and  the 
public  librarv  board.  Mr.  .Starr  was  for  some 
years  proprietor  of  the  old  Holland  House. 

Amasa  Hutchins  was  elected  in  1893.  He  was 
born  in  Guilford,  Winnebago  county,  in  1843. 
He  enlisted  in  the  Union  army  and  served  through 
the  Civil  war.  In  1880  he  was  elected  sheriff  of 
Winnebago  county,  and  served  six  years.  He  has 
been  engaged  in  the  monument  business,  and  is 
one  of  the  owners  of  the  steamer  Illinois. 

Edward  W.  Brown  has  the  honor  of  holding 
the  office  of  mayor  longer  than  any  other  one 
citizen.  He  was  elected  in  1895,  and  re-elected  in 
1897  and  1899,  serving  six  years.     He  was  born 


13^ 


PAST     AND     l'Rr-:SEXT    OF     WINXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


in  Rockford  in  1857,  and  is  a  son  of  the  late 
Judge  Brown,  one  of  the  early  mayors.  It  is  the 
only  instance  in  Rockford  history  where  father 
and  son  liavc  held  the  office  of  mayor.  In  1884 
Mr.  Brown  was  appointed  the  first  local  agent  of 
the  Illinois  L'cnlral  Railroad  company,  which  po- 
sition he  still  holds.  In  1885  he  was  elected  al- 
derman from  the  old  Second  ward,  and  served 
seven  years.  During  his  administration  as  mayor, 
many  of  the  most  notable  public  improvements 
were  made. 

In  1901  .\masa  Hutcliins  was  again  elected 
mayor,  and  served  one  term. 

Charles  E.  Jackson  is  the  last,  as  well  as  the 
voungest,  mayor  of  Rockford.  He  was  elected  in 
1903.  Mr.  Jackson  is  a  native  of  Boone  county, 
born  Xovcmber  30,  1867.  In  1891  he  established 
a  wholesale  portrait  and  frame  business,  which 
he  has  conducted  most  successfully,  extending  his 
sales  into  every  state  in  the  Union  and  into  for- 
eign countries.  Mayor  Jackson's  administration 
has  been  efficient,  and  meets  the  approval  of  the 
people. 

ROCKl'OKD    U.\.\KS    .\ND    D.VXKERS. 

The  first  bank  in  Rockford  was  opened  in  1848 
by  the  late  Thomas  D.  Robertson  and  John  A. 
Holland.  Their  place  of  business  was  a  low  frame 
building  adjoining  the  European  hotel  site  on 
West  State  street.  In  1851  J.  S.  Coleman  re- 
moved from  New  York  to  Rockford,  and  became 
a  member  of  the  firm,  the  name  of  which  was 
changed  to  Robertson,  Coleman  &  Co.  Mr.  Cole- 
man built  the  stone  inansion  on  North  Main  street, 
now  the  home  of  Colonel  William  Nelson.  The 
firm  continued  in  business  in  its  small  quarters 
until  1855.  when  the  present  Winnebago  National 
bank  block  was  completed.  Until  the  death  of 
Mr.  Holland  in  1835,  Melancthon  Starr  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  firm,  and  after  Mr.  Coleman's  death 
in  1864  the  firm  name  was  changed  to  Robertson 
&  Starr,  which  continued  until  the  organization 
of  the  Winnebago  Nalion.il  bank  in  1865. 

In  October.  1852,  the  Bank  of  Rockford  was 
organized  under  the  general  banking  law  of  the 
state.  Charles  I.  Horsman  was  president  and 
Charles  C.  Wilcox  was  cashier.  .\  sworn  state- 
ment of  its  condition  on  the  first  Monday  in  July, 
1853,  reported  a  circulation  of  $49,995.  The  late 
Levi  Moulthroj)  began  his  business  career  as  a 
clerk  in  this  bank,  when  he  was  twelve  years  of 
age,  and  remained  five  years.  The  bank  sus- 
pended  in    1857. 

The  banking  house  of  SpafFord,  Clark  &  Ellis 
was  founded  in  November,  1854.  The  firm  con- 
sisted of  C.  H.  SpafFord.  Dr.  D.  G.  Clark  and  E. 
F.  W.  Ellis.  Dr.  Clark  came  to  Rockford  in 
1848.  Two  years  later  he  went  to  California, 
and  returned  in  1853.  Dr.  Clark  died  October 
4,  1861.  SpafFord,  Clark  &  Ellis  did  business 
in  the  old  stone  building  on  the  alley  on  the  south 


side  of  State,  between  Main  and  Qiurch.  This 
building  has  been  torn  down  and  replaced  by  a 
modern  structure  by  Hon.  E.  B.  Sumner.  This 
bank  went  into  liquidation,  and  Mr.  Spafford  is 
said  to  have  paid  its  obligations  in  full. 

In  1854  was  also  established  the  banking  house 
of  Briggs.  Spafford  &  Penfuld.  in  East  Rock- 
ford, which  became  the  Third  National  bank. 
The  members  of  the  firm  were  C.  C.  Briggs,  A.  C. 
Spafford  and  David  Penfield. 

January  ,  1855,  the  banking  firm  of  Dickerman, 
Wheeler  &  Co.  began  business  on  West  State 
street.  The  firm  consisted  of  W.  A.  Dickerman, 
Bucl  G.  Wheeler,  G.  .\.  Sanford  and  R.  P.  Lane. 
This  house  became  the  Second  National  bank. 

Fuller  &  Tomkins  began  banking  business  in 
the  W'orthington  block.  East  Rockford,  in  1853. 
The  firm  consisted  of  Allen  C.  and  E.  L.  Fuller 
and  Enos  and  N.  C.  Tomkins,  all  of  Belvidere. 
The  firm  was  later  called  E.  L.  Fuller  &  Co. 

E.  H.  Potter  &  Co.  and  Edward  N.  Kitchel 
were  also  in  the  banking  business  on  the  liast 
side. 

These  banks  complete  the  list  for  Rockford  to 
1861.  It  was  a  day  of  unstable  currency,  when 
"wildcat"  money  was  abundant,  but  worthless. 
This  fact  made  banking  a  precarious  business,  as 
compared  with  the  splendid  system  of  today. 

Tlie  private  bank  of  N.  C.  Thompson  was 
opened  aliout  i8fio  in  the  Iniilding  now  occupied 
by  the  Manufacturers'  National  l)ank.  It  is  said 
Mr.  Thompson  had  $150,000  on  deposit  in  Chi- 
cago banks  at  the  time  of  the  great  fire  in  1871. 
This  bank  closed  its  doors  in  1884. 

The  First  National  bank  of  Rockford  began 
business  June  15,  1864,  with  Alonzo  Wood  as 
president,  and  E.  H.  Griggs,  cashier.  It  occupied 
the  .second  floor  of  the  C.  F.  Hcnr\-  block.  Mr. 
Wood  conducted  a  large  general  store,  approach- 
ing the  modern  department  store,  and  had  the 
four  stores  now  occupied  by  C.  F.  Henry  and  A. 
C.  Deming.  The  First  National  was  popularly 
called  •A\^ood's  bank."  His  son,  W.  W.  Wood, 
succeeded  to  the  management,  with  George  Strat- 
ton  as  cashier.  The  bank  and  the  store  tumbled 
into  a  common  ruin.  The  first  currency  issued  in 
Rockford  under  the  national  banking  law  was  put 
in  circulation  bv  the  First  National  bank,  August 
5,  1864. 

The  Second  National  bank  was  organized  in 
1865  as  the  successor  of  the  banking  firm  of  Lane. 
.Sanford  &  Co.  The  principal  stockholders  were 
Dr.  R.  r.  Lane.  G.  A.  Sanford  and  \\'.  .\.  Dick- 
erman. In  its  prime  it  was  the  largest  banking 
house  in  the  city,  but  reverses  came,  and  the  in- 
stitution finally  closed  its  doors.  H.  H.  Waldo 
was  appointed  receiver. 

.\  bank  started  on  Seventh  street  by  John  Bud- 
long  in  the  early  nineties  completes  the  list  of 
lionses  which  have  |)asse<l  out  of  business.  This 
bank  succumbed  to  the  financial  crash  of  1893. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


133 


The  Winnebago  National  bank  is  the  oldest  in 
the  city,  representing  an  unbroken  line  since  1848, 
when  Robertson  &  Holland  began  business  in  a 
small  and  primitive  way.  The  Winnebago  opened 
its  doors  April  3.  1855,  with  T.  D.  Robertson, 
president ;  Melancthon  Starr,  vice-president ; 
Spencer  Rising,  cashier. 

The  Third  National  bank  was  organized  in 
1864,  to  succeed  the  banking  firm  of  Briggs, 
Spafford  &  Penfield.  A.  C.  Spafford  was  presi- 
dent until  his  death  in  1897.  '^^-  T.  Wallis  was 
the  first  cashier.  His  succesosrs  have  been  L.  A. 
Trowbridge  and  George  C.  Spafford.  Captain 
John  H.  Sherratt  succeeded  .\.  C.  Spafiford  as 
president. 

The  People's  bank  was  incorporated  in  1869, 
under  a  special  act  of  the  general  assembly  of  Illi- 
nois. The  presidents  have  been  N.  E.  Lyman, 
A.  D.  Forbes  and  Harry  F.  Forbes.  The  bank  is 
capitalized  at  $125,000. 

The  Rockford  National  bank  began  business  in 
May,  1871.  Gilbert  Woodruff  was  president  un- 
til his  death  in  1O03.  Horace  Brown  is  the 
present  incumbent.  The  capital  stock  is  $100,- 
000. 

The  Manufacturers'  National  bank  began  busi- 
ness January  2,  1889.  and  its  growth  has  been 
phenomenal.  Its  presidents  have  been  Qiarles  O. 
Upton.  W.  F.  Barnes  and  Norman  F.  Thompson. 

The  Forest  City  is  the  youngest  bank  in  the 
city  and  opened  its  doors  June  7,  1890.  John  D. 
Waterman  has  been  president  from  the  first,  and 
Paul  F.  Schuster  was  its  cashier  fifteen  years. 
The  bank  has  a  capital  of  $100,000. 

Three  of  these  banks  increased  their  capi- 
tal stock  in  1904.  The  Winnebago  now  has  a  cap- 
ital stock  of  $250,000.  The  Manufacturers'  in- 
creased from  $125,000  to  $200,000:  while  the 
Third  National  increased  from  $100,000  to 
$250,000. 

The  total  capitalization  of  the  Rockford  banks 
is  now  $1,025,000. 

NEWSP.APERS   OF  ROCKFORD. 

One  of  the  greatest  institutions  in  this  day  of 
great  things  is  the  daily  newspaper.  Its  evolution 
has  been  most  rapid.  Even  Horace  Greeley,  the 
Nestor  of  American  journalism,  if  he  were  per- 
mitted to  come  back  to  earth,  would  be  ill  at  ease 
in  his  old  profession.  The  fast  presses,  printing 
many  thousands  an  hour,  the  linotype  and  other 
inventions  that  work  almost  with  the  precision  of 
the  human  mind,  have  produced  results  far  beyond 
the  wildest  dreams  of  half  a  century  ago.  Jules 
Verne's  fantastic  stories  are  scarcely  more  won- 
derful. Indeed.  \'erne  was  something  of  a  pro- 
phet, for  in  other  lines  of  progress  some  of  his 
fancies  have  been  realized  in  fact. 

The  scope  of  the  daily  newspaper  has  become 
greatly  enlarged.    By  the  constantly  increased  use 


of  illustrations,  and  the  introduction  of  "fea- 
tures." the  newspaper  has  encroached  upon  the 
domain  of  the  magazine.  The  religious  journal 
has  also  felt  the  growing  prestige  of  the  daily.  As 
in  ancient  Rome,  the  Pantheon  was  dedicated  to 
the  worship  of  all  the  gods,  so  the  newspaper  of 
today  meets  the  needs  of  all  the  people.  Interur- 
ban  lines  of  railway  and  the  rural  route  have 
brought  the  morning  and  evening  news  to  the 
door  of  the  farmer.  The  special  correspondent 
has  traversed  all  parts  of  the  globe,  and  is  now 
sighing  for  other  worlds  to  conquer. 

It  was  said  in  the  olden  time.  "Despise  not  the 
day  of  small  things."  The  story  of  the  news- 
papers of  Rockford.  daily,  weekly  and  monthly, 
is  replete  with  interest,  and  will  now  be  told  in 
full. 

The  first  newspaper  published  in  Winnebago 
county  was  the  Rock  River  Express.  Its  publi- 
cation began  in  Rockford  May  5.  1840,  by  B.  J. 
Gray.  In  politics  it  was  whig  of  the  most  radical 
type.  In  a  village  of  perhaps  three  hundred  in- 
habitants there  was  very  little  of  a  local  nature 
that  could  be  published.  The  primary  purpose  of 
the  paper's  existence  seems  to  have  been  to  pro- 
mote the  election  of  William  Henry  Harrison  to 
the  presidency.  Its  ambition  was  satisfied,  but 
after  it  had  been  published  one  year  the  press  and 
]-irinting  material  were  sold  and  removed  from 
the  village.  A  file  of  this  paper,  nearly  complete, 
has  been  preserved  in  the  public  library. 

The  Rockford  Star  was  founded  in  the  autumn 
of  1840,  as  a  democratic  paper.  The  printing  ma- 
terial was  owned  by  Daniel  S.  Haight,  Daniel 
Howell  and  Adam  Keith.  The  office  was  located 
on  the  southeast  corner  of  IVIadison  and  Market 
streets,  in  the  building  erected  by  Mr.  Haight  for 
religious,  court,  and  other  purposes.  This  old 
building  still  shelters  one  of  the  craft,  William  G. 
Conick.  on  North  First  street.  The  editor.  Phil- 
ander Knappen.  was  simply  a  tenant.  J.  H. 
Thurston  was  the  "devil"  in  the  office,  a  role 
which,  according  to  his  own  statement,  he  was 
eminently  qualified  to  fill.  He  also  became  quite 
an  expert  compositor.  Air.  Thurston  subsequent- 
ly obtained  employment  on  John  Wentworth's 
paper,  the  Chicago  Democrat,  on  the  strength  of 
a  letter  of  Mr.  Knappen.  to  the  effect  that  he  was 
a  rapid  compositor,  could  set  a  clean  proof,  and 
could  sometimes  make  sense  from  Knappen's  own 
manuscript. 

April  28,  1841.  the  editor  of  the  Star  was  mar- 
ried to  Miss  Eliza  Simons,  of  Harlem.  Mr. 
Knappen  sent  a  special  invitation  to  "Long  John" 
Wentworth.  of  Chicago.  Mr.  Wentworth  had 
already  started  on  one  of  his  frequent  trips  to 
Rockford.  and  he  expressed  his  congratulations 
by  following  the  bride  and  groom  all  the  evening 
with  a  tallow  dip  in  his  extended  hand,  which 
reached   nearly  to  the  ceiling. 


'34 


TAST     A\'D     PRESF.XT     OF     WIXXF.P.AGO     COUXTV. 


Mr.  Knappen  had  been  in  Rockford  but  a  short 
time  when  the  Driscoll  tragedy  occurred  as  a 
chmax  to  the  career  of  the  "bandits  of  the  prairie" 
in  northern  Ilhnois.  Mr.  Knappen  did  not  un- 
derstand tiie  temper  of  the  people :  and  his  strongs 
denunciation  of  the  summary  execution  (if  the 
outlaws  aroused  intense  indii^nation.  Tlie  citizens 
proposed  to  punish  the  editor.  Soon  after  the 
issue  of  the  paper,  the  office  of  the  Star  was  en- 
tered in  the  nijjht  and  the  type  reduced  to  pi. 
When  the  editor  beheld  this  "wreck  of  matter" 
he  stirred  the  pi  with  a  stove  shovel,  and  mixed 
the  fonts  of  type  in  every  case  in  the  office.  Mr. 
KnajJiK'n  turned  over  the  subscri]nion  list  to  Mr. 
Howell,  of  the  Rockford  House,  wliere  the  office 
force  boarded,  and  abandoned  journalism  in  this 
una])preciative  villajje.  Mr.  Howell  did  not  real- 
ize anything:  from  the  assets  placed  in  his  hands. 
Thirty  years  later  Mr.  Thurston  divul.sjcd  the 
fact  that  D.  S.  Haigflit.  Charles  Latimer  and 
Adam  Keith  were  the  i)eri)etrators  of  the  mis- 
chief. The  democratic  huninary  had  been  side- 
tracked in   its  orbit. 

The  Rockford  Pilot  be.cjan  its  brief  career  July 
22,  1841.  Mr.  Thurston  .says  he  helped  distril)ute 
the  Star  pi,  and  with  this  material  assisted  in  is- 
suing the  first  four  numbers  of  its  successor.  The 
Pilot  was  published  as  a  democratic  paper  until 
October,  1842.  It  could  no  longer  steer  clear  of 
the  rocks.  The  editor.  John  A.  P>rown.  had  been 
defeated  for  representative ;  the  democrats  had 
sustained  a  local  defeat  of  their  entire  ticket,  and 
on  the  30th  of  October  the  last  number  of  the 
Pilot  was  issued. 

The  Better  Covenant,  a  I'niversalist  ])apor.  was 
printed  at  the  Pilot  office  during  a  i)ortion  of  tliis 
period.     Its  editor  was  William  Rounsevilie. 

Februan-  17.  1843.  J.  .\mbrose  W^ight  bc.gan 
the  publication  of  the  Winnebago  Forum,  a  whig 
paper,  with  material  which  had  been  used  in 
printing  the  Rockford  Star.  Mr.  Wight  was  a 
graduate  of  Williams  college,  and  first  came  to 
Winnebago  county  in  1836.  He  was  a  brother  of 
Jaiues  M.  W'iglit.  with  whom  he  read  law  for  a 
time.  Mr.  Wi.ght  retired  from  the  Forum  .\u- 
gust  18.  1843.  when  he  sold  the  jiaper  to  .\ustin 
^I.  Colton.  The  terms  were  easv.  Mr.  Wight 
said:  "He  asked  me  my  price.  I  told  him  if  he 
would  take  it  off  my  hands,  we  would  be  square." 
Mr.  Colton  was  more. successful  than  anv  of  his 
])redecessors  in  the  local  newspai)er  field,  and  his 
])lace  in  local  history  is  that  of  the  best  known 
"country  editor"  of  the  old  school.  Mr.  Colton 
continued  the  paper  under  the  old  name  until  the 
close  of  the  first  volume,  in  Fcbruarv,  1844,  when 
it  was  rechristened  the  Rockford  Forum.  .After 
Mr.  Colton  had  "written  for  glory  and  printed 
on  trust"  for  ten  years,  he  .sold  the  paper  to  E. 
W.  niaisdell.  Jr.,  who  came  to  Rockford  in  the 
latter  part  of  1853.     In  January  of  1854  the  new 


proprietor  changed  the  name  of  the  Forum  to 
the  Reiniblican,  and  took  his  brother,  Richard  P. 
Blaisdell.  into  partncrshi]).  The  Republican  was 
])ublished  until  1862,  when  it  was  purchased  by 
Klias  C.  Daugherty,  and  merged  into  the  Rock- 
ford  Re.gister,  of  which  he  was  proprietor. 

In  Se|)tember,  184S.  Henry  W.  De  Puy  estab- 
lished the  Rockford  Free  Press,  as  a  Free  Soil 
or  Barnburner  organ.  It  was  published  until 
February,  1850,  when  it  was  discontinued  for 
want  of  patronage. 

The  Rock  River  Democrat  was  founded  in 
June.  1852.  as  a  democratic  paper,  by  Benjamin 
Holt.  David  T.  Dickson  afterward  [nirchased 
an  interest.  In  1855  Rhenodyne  A.  Bird  became 
Mr.  Holt's  successor.  The  paper  was  published 
by  Dickson  &  Bird  until  May  1,  1864.  It  was 
then  purchased  by  Isaiah  S.  Hyatt,  who  contin- 
ued its  publication  until  June  12,  1865.  when  the 
plant   was  sold   to  the   Register  company. 

The  Rockford  Register  was  founded  by  E.  C. 
Daugherty  in  l\-bruary,  1855.  There  were  al- 
ready two  weekly  papers  in  the  field,  the  Repub- 
lican and  the  Democrat.  But  Mr.  Daugherty  was 
confident  there  was  always  room  at  the  top.  In 
his  prospectus  Mr.  Daugherty  said  he  had  "se- 
lected the  flourishing  and  beautiful  city  of  Rock- 
ford as  his  future  home,  believing  the  field  ample 
for  a  new  aspirant  to  ])ublic  favor.' 

-Mr.  Daugherty  had  in  him  the  elements  of  the 
reformer,  and  he  founded  the  Register  as  a  strong" 
opi)onent  of  the  extension  of  slavery.  He  made 
a  declaration  of  his  principles  in  the  following 
paragraph  of  his  prospectus : 

"In  the  present  confused  state  of  political  ])ar- 
ties  and  issues  we  need  not  promise  further  as  to 
the  ])olitical  course  of  the  Register  than  that, 
while  our  sympathies  are,  as  ever,  with  the  cardi- 
nal doctrines  and  faith  of  the  whig  party,  we  shall 
also  earnestly  lend  our  humble  efforts  and  influ- 
ence to  check  the  aggressive  encroachments  of 
southern  dictation  and  overthrow  the  monopoly  of 
slave  ])ower — endeavoring  by  all  honorable  means 
to  advance  the  interests  and  sustain  the  true  issues 
of  freedom.  We  are  not  among  those,  however, 
who  believe  all  the  honesty  and  intelligence  be- 
long to  either  of  the  great  political  parties,  and 
shall  be  as  free  to  commend  a  political  o])]ionent 
when  right  as  to  condemn  one  of  our  faith  when 
wrong — according  the  right  of  free  opinion  to 
all.  We  may  also  say  lure,  the  Re.gister  will  be 
the  organ  of  no  cli(|ue  or  club,  but  will  he  inde- 
pendently its  own  exi>onent." 

Concerning  the  business  side  of  the  enterprise, 
the  prospectus  continued : 

"The  paper  will  be  styled  the  'Rockford  Regis- 
ter' and  will  be  |)rinted  weekly,  upon  new  type 
and  good  quality  of  paper,  seven  columns  to  the 
page,  at  $1.50  per  annum  in  advance,  or  $2,00  at 
the   end   of   the    vear.      Citv    subscribers,    whose 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


135 


papers  are  delivered  by  the  carrier,  will  be 
charged  fifty  cents  additional." 

Commencing  with  a  limited  capital,  and  con- 
tending against  strong  opposition.  Air.  Daugh- 
erty  lived  to  see  both  the  original  rival  papers, 
and  others,  merged  into  the  Register,  which  be- 
came a  strong  and  intluential  paper.  The  Regis- 
ter absorbed  other  papers  representing  an  almost 
unbroken  line  since  1840.  June  i,  1859,  Air. 
Daugherty  began  the  publication  of  the  Dailv 
Register  ;  but  it  was  discontinued  at  the  end  of 
three  months.  In  June,  1865,  the  Rock  River 
Democrat  was  merged  with  the  Register,  which 
passed  into  the  hands  of  a  joint  stock  company. 
The  impaired  health  of  Mr.  Daugherty  compelled 
him  to  retire  from  active  business  life.  I.  S. 
Hyatt,  who  had  at  two  previous  periods  been 
connected  with  the  paper,  as  assistant  editor,  and 
later  the  proprietor  of  the  Rock  River  Demo- 
crat, became,  under  the  new  management,  the 
principal  editor  with  E.  H.  Griggs  as  associate. 

By  reason  of  breaks  in  the  files,  the  record  of 
changes  in  the  management  of  the  Register  may 
not  be  absolutely  complete.  The  possible 
omissions,  however,  do  not  cover  more  than  one 
or  two  years. 

June  30,  1866,  Air.  Hyatt  resigned  his  posi- 
tion as  editor,  and  was  succeeded  by  E.  C.  Daugh- 
erty, who  retained  the  editorial  charge  of  the 
pajjer  until  February  23,  1867,  when  the  condi- 
tion of  his  health  forced  him  to  retire.  Abraham 
E.  and  William  E.  Smith,  former  proprietors  of 
the  Indianapolis  Gazette,  became  associated  with 
E.  H.  Griggs  in  the  management  of  the  Register. 
These  gentlemen  retired  June  29,  1867.  Air. 
Griggs  became  editor  and  manager,  with  J.  E. 
Fox  as  associate.  This  management  continued 
until  October  7,  1871,  when  the  name  of  S.  M. 
Daugherty,  widow  of  the  founder  of  the  paper, 
appeared  as  proprietor.  Tlie  following  week  the 
Register  announced  that  P.  S.  Alartin  was  busi- 
ness manager. 

January  6,  1873,  Geo.  E.  Wright  &  Co.  began 
the  publication  of  the  Daily  Register.  It  was  a 
morning  paper,  with  no  Sunday  edition.  Alarch 
13,  1873,  Cliarles  J.  Woodbury  &  Co.  assumed 
the  management.  Air.  Woodbury  was  a  half- 
brother  of  Rev.  Frank  P.  Woodbury.  D.  D.. 
pastor  of  the  Second  Congregational  church.  Dr. 
Woodbury  had  the  editorial  instinct,  and  rendered 
some  assistance  in  an  editorial  way.  November 
8,  1873,  the  Register  was  changed  from  a  morn- 
ing to  an  evening  paper.  But  the  time  had  not 
come  for  the  success  of  such  a  venture,  and  on 
February  10,  1874,  the  daily  was  discontinued. 

Aoril  16,  1875,  the  names  of  N.  D.  \\'right  and 
Al.  CoUaton  appear  as  members  of  the  Register 
company.  In  January  of  the  following  year  Mr. 
Wright  was  editor-in-chief. 

July  2-j.    1877.  the  Register  was  issued  under 


the  management  of  N.  D.  Wright  and  C.  L.  Mil- 
ler. The  latter  had  come  to  Rockford  from 
Rochelle,  where  he  had  been  connected  with  a 
weekly  paper, 

October  i,  1877,  the  Rockford  Daily  Register 
was  started  upon  a  permanent  basis  by  Messrs, 
Wright  and  Aliller,  with  E.  C.  Chandler  as  city 
editor.  A  few  months  later  E.  M.  Botsford  ac- 
cepted a  reportorial  position,  and  in  1881  he  pur- 
chased an  interest.  \\'.  P.  Lamb  subsequently  be- 
came a  third  partner. 

The  firm  of  Miller,  Botsford  &  Co.,  continued 
in  the  management  until  January  I,  1891,  when 
Edgar  E.  Bartlett,  W.  L.  Eaton  and  Eugene  Mc- 
Sweeney,  all  of  Kalamazoo,  Alichigan,  purchased 
the  good  will  of  the  Daily  Register  and  Daily 
Gazette,  and  consolidated  them  under  the  firm 
name  of  the  Register-Gazette. 

In  1898  Mr.  Bartlett  purchased  the  interest  of 
Air.  AlcSweeney,  and  in  1901  he  purchased  Mr. 
Eaton's  interest.  In  the  autumn  of  that  year  Mr. 
Bartlett  sold  a  part  interest  to  Archibald  S. 
Leckie,  of  Chicago,  who  became  managing  editor. 

Two  years  later,  in  October,  1903,  Fred  E. 
Sterling  purchased  Air.  Leckie's  interest,  and  be- 
came manager  of  the  editorial  department. 

The  Rockford  Wesleyan  Seminary  Reporter 
was  begun  as  a  monthly  publication  in  October, 
1857.  Only  four  numbers  were  issued.  It  was 
published  by  Rev.  W.  F.  Stewart  in  the  interest 
of  the  proposed  Wesleyan  seminary. 

The  first  number  of  the  Cudgel  was  issued 
January  17,  1857.  It  bore  this  legend  on  its  title- 
page:  "Published  somewhere,  circulates  every- 
where, edited  nowhere."  It  was  published  semi- 
monthly, but  only  seven  numbers  were  printed. 

Dr.  George  Haskell  began  the  publication  of 
the  Spirit' Advocate  April  15.  1854.  It  was  an 
able  propagandist  of  spiritualism.  Twenty-three 
numbers  were  published  when  it  was  consolidated 
with  the  Orient,  with  headquarters  at  Waukegan. 
The  last  number  of  the  Advocate  appeared  Alarch 
15.  1856.  A  complete  file  of  this  paper  has  been 
preserved  in  the  Rockford  public  library. 

The  Democratic  Standard  was  founded  October 
30,  1858,  by  Springsteen  &  Parks,  as  a  democratic 
organ.  After  about  a  month,  the  Standard  was 
published  by  Parks  alone,  until  February  5,  1859, 
when  David  G.  Croly  became  proprietor.  On  the 
1 8th  of  Alay  following  the  proprietorship  was 
changed  to  D.  G.  Croly  &  Co.  The  company  was 
John  H.  Grove.  On  the  suspension  of  the  News 
April  30,  i860,  and  the  retirement  of  Mr.  Croly 
the  publication  of  the  Standard  was  continued  by 
John  H.  Grove  and  James  S.  Ticknor  for  a  few 
months.  The  paper  was  then  sold  to  James  E. 
and  Joseph  H.  Fox,  who  established  the  Daily 
News.  It  was  a  republican  paper,  and  the  first 
number  was  issued  in  December,  i860.  A  few 
weeks    later    they    began    the    publication    of    the 


136 


PAST     A\n     PRKSKN'T     OF     \VI\XF.P.\r,0     COUNTY. 


Weekly  N'ews.  which  was  continued  until  Sep- 
tember 21.  1861.  The  plant  was  then  sold  to  E. 
C.  Daugfherty,  and  its  publication  was  discon- 
tinued. 

.\ii  earlier  pa])er,  also  called  the  Daily  Xews. 
was  established  by  David  G.  Croly,  February  8, 
1859.  The  paper  was  neutral  in  politics.  Its 
])nl)lication  was  continued  until  .\pril  30,  i860, 
when  it  was  suspended  for  want  of  patronaije. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Croly  won  national  re]>utation  in 
journalism  and  letters  after  their  departure  from 
Rockford.  Mr.  Croly  became  city  editor  of  the 
New  York  World  and  later  was  its  managing 
editor.  He  was  the  author  of  biographies  of 
Horatio  Seymour  and  Francis  P.  Pdair,  a  History 
of  Reconstruction  and  a  Primer  of  Positivism. 
He  died  in  1889. 

The  Crescent  Age  was  founded  in  1859.  Its 
editors  were  Dr.  George  Haskell  and  H.  P.  Kim- 
ball. It  was  a  .Spiritualist  ])ublication.  and  lived 
only  a  short  time. 

The  Rock  River  Mirror  was  established  Sep- 
tember 6,  1859,  by  Allen  Gib.son.  It  was  neutral 
in  ]>olitics  and  was  printed  at  the  Register  office. 
Later  the  name  of  X.  C.  Thompson  appeared  as 
associate  editor,  and  still  later  the  proprietors  were 
-Allen  Gibson  and  E.  D.  Marsh. 

The  People's  Press  was  established  July  2~,. 
1865.  by  W.  P.  Furey,  who  published  it  until 
May.  1866.  when  a  joint  stock  company  was  or- 
ganized, which  continued  its  publication  until 
September  i,  1866,  when  it  was  suspended  from 
lack  of  patronage. 

\\'ords  for  Jesus,  a  monthly  religious  ])ublica- 
tion,  was  started  in  October.  1867,  by  Thomas  J. 
and  Hugh  Lamont. 

Leaves  from  Forest  Hill,  a  monthly,  was  ]nil)- 
lishcd  for  some  time  during  the  school  year,  by 
the   yoimg   ladies  of  Rockford   Seminary. 

The  Rockford  Gazette  was  founded  November 
22,  1866,  by  I.  S.  Hyatt,  as  a  small  advertising 
sheet.  It  prospered  to  such  an  extent  that  in  the 
following  .'\pril  it  was  greatly  enlarged,  .\pril 
25,  1867,  the  name  of  Benjamin  I'oltz  appeared 
as  editor,  .\ugust  29,  1867,  the  Gazette  was 
issued  with  the  names  of  Abraham  F.  and  Wil- 
liam E.  Smith  as  proprietors.  This  partnership 
continued  for  some  years.  In  1878  the  publishers 
began  a  semi-weekly  edition,  and  .\ugust  4,  1879, 
the  Gazette  was  issued  as  a  daily,  and  became 
valuable  newspaper  property.  In  1882  Mr. 
Smith  admitted  Col.  F.  .\.  Eastman,  of  Chicago, 
as  a  ])artner.  This  partnership  was  dissfilved  the 
following  year,  and  Mr.  .Smith  continued  as  sole 
])roprietor  until  January,  i8(;i,  when  the  iiajjcr 
was  merged  into  the  Register-Gazette. 

The  Winnebago  Chief  was  started  X'ovcmber 
21,  1866,  by  J.  P.  Irvine  as  editor  and  proprietor. 
July  3,  1867,  Hiram  R.  Enoch  was  admitted  as 
a  partner,  and  the  name  of  the  pajier  was  changed 


to  the  Winnebago  County  Chief.  Mr.  Irvine  sub- 
.setjuently  retired,  and  Mr.  Enoch  remained  sole 
proprietor  until  December,  1882,  when  the  journal 
jiassed  into  the  hands  of  Foote  &  Kimball.  In 
March,  1883,  the  paper  was  sold  to  D.  Miller  & 
Co.,  who  published  it  three  years.  In  March, 
1886,  a  Mr.  Gardner,  from  the  southern  part  of 
the  state,  purchased  a  half  interest.  This  part- 
nershij)  was  dissolved,  Mr.  Gardner  taking  the 
jf)l)  department,  and  D.  Miller  &  Co.  retaining 
the  subscription  list  and  business  of  the  paper. 
In  -Vugust.  1887,  the  journal  was  .sold  to  Hon. 
J.  Stanley  Browne,  by  whom  its  publication  was 
continued  until  the  good  will  and  subscrijition  list 
became  the  property  of  the  Rockford  Morning 
Star  company. 

The  Golden  Censer  was  founded  Alay  i,  1868. 
by  John  Lcnile\'.  It  was  an  undenominational 
religious  and  family  paper.  It  was  first  issued 
semi-monthly,  and  subse(|uently  changed  to  a 
week!\.  X'^ovember  i,  1877,  the  pa]xT  passed  into 
the  hands  of  a  .stock  company.  The  principal 
stockholders  were  O.  R.  Brouse.  Rev.  C.  E. 
.Mandevillc,  and  X'.  E.  Lyman,  who  was  then 
l)resident  of  the  People's  bank.  The  Censer, 
under  this  management,  attained  a  circulation  of 
eighteen  thousand,  the  largest  ever  reached  bv  a 
Rockford  ])aper.  In  time,  however,  the  circu- 
lation was  greatly  reduced,  until  .August.  1896, 
when  the  Censer,  with  barely  two  thousand  sub- 
scribers, was  indefinitelv  suspendcil.  In  March, 
i8(;7,  the  Calvert  Brothers  purchased  the  good 
will  and  material  and  resumed  publication,  with 
Charles  A.  Church  as  editor.  The  policy  of  the 
Censer  was  greatly  changed,  and  an  able  corps 
of  local  contributors  was  secured.  In  less  than 
one  year  the  circulation  advanced  to  six  thousand. 
P>ut  this  number  did  not  make  the  paper  self- 
sustaining.  In  .April,  1898,  Charles  .\.  Church 
became  sole  proprietor.  June  ist  of  the  same 
year  the  good  will  of  the  paper  was  sold  to  the 
Ram's  Horn  of  Chicago. 

The  Christian  ( lleaner.  a  monthly,  was  pub- 
lished at  the  Censer  office  for  some  years.  It  was 
made  up  of  selections  from  the  Censer,  and  con- 
tained very  little  original  matter.  The  subscrip- 
tion list  was  absorbed  by  the  Censer  about   i8(>i. 

The  Rockford  Daily  Journal  was  started  in 
.\ugust,  1870,  by  Lumley  &  Carpenter.  It  lived 
two  days. 

.\ndrus'  Illustrated  Monthlv  was  founded  in 
January,  1872,  by  D.  A.  K.  and  W.  D.  E. 
.\ndrus.    It  was  discontinued  in  September.  1873. 

The  Methodist  Free  Press  was  started  by  John 
Lemley  in  September,  1872,  and  was  continued 
until  January,  1875. 

\'ol.  I,  Xo.  I,  of  the  Curiosity  Hunter  was 
issued  in  September,  1872,  as  a  monthly  by  D.  A. 
K.  .\ndrus.  and  was  continued  until  July.  1874. 
In  1876  it  was  resumed  at  Belvidere. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


137 


Nowadays  was  launched  by  E.  C.  Chandler  & 
Co.,  January  i,  1874.  Only  one  number  was 
issued. 

The  Rockford  Sunday  Herald  was  started  May 
II,  1879,  by  E.  C.  Chandler.  It  was  discontinued 
December  21,  1879. 

The  People's  Champion  was  launched  by  E, 
W.  Blaisdell,  September  29,  1880.  Only  five  num- 
bers were  issued. 

Our  Home  and  Science  Gossip  was  started  by 
D.  A.  K.  Andrus  in  March,  1881,  and  was  con- 
tinued about  two  years. 

The  Rockford  Seminary  Magazine  was  founded 
in  January,  1873,  with  the  name  of  Caroline  A. 
Potter,  class  of  1855,  as  editor.  The  first  num- 
ber contained  forty  pages.  In  later  years  the 
magazine  was  edited  by  the  senior  class.  After 
the  seminary  was  raised  to  the  rank  of  a  college, 
in  1 89 1  tlie  name  of  the  paper  was  changed  to 
the  Rockford  Collegian.  Its  publication  was  dis- 
continued in  1895. 

One  number  of  the  Stamp  News  was  issued  in 
1873  by  D.  .'\.  K.  Andrus. 

The  Rockford  Industrial  Times  began  a  brief 
career  in  February,  1874,  with  W.  F.  Barrows  as 
editor.  A  few  months  later  the  name  was 
changed  to  the  Hornet.  The  second  volume  be- 
gan with  a  second  change  in  name,  the  Rockford 
Times.  John  R.  Coursen  and  Fred  Dayton  were 
the  proprietors.  The  issue  of  August  4,  1875,  an- 
nounced that  Mr.  Coursen  had  sold  his  interest  to 
Louis  A.  Manlove.  There  is  a  complete  file  of 
the  Times  in  the  public  library  for  two  years  end- 
ing February  16,  1876. 

The  first  number  of  the  Rockford  Daily  News 
was  issued  January  26,  1878,  by  D.  A.  K.  Andrus. 
Geo.  W.  Sherer  and  F.  O.  Bennett.  Sunday 
morning,  June  3,  1878,  the  Daily  News  created 
a  great  sensation  by  publishing  a  harrowing  story 
of  a  communist  attack  upon  the  government. 
When  it  was  learned  that  the  story  had  no  founda- 
tion in  fact.  Mayor  Watson  ordered  the  office 
closed  by  the  city  marshal.  After  many  changes 
the  Daily  News  suspended  publication  in  i  )cto- 
ber,   1880. 

The  Western  Banner  was  established  as  a  tem- 
perance paper  in  1878,  by  J.  E.  Hampton.  F.  Wil- 
son and  H.  S.  Wilbur.  The  paper  was  printed 
on  a  hand  press  in  the  office  of  the  Rockford 
Journal.    It  died  December  19,  1878. 

The  Morning  Herald  was  started  June  11. 
1 88 1,  bv  Miller  &  Welch.  It  was  published  until 
October.  1882. 

The  Rockford  Furniture  Journal  was  founded 
in  1888.  A  leading  spirit  in  the  agitation  for  a 
trade  paper  was  the  late  Lyon  P.  Ross,  who  was 
then  secretary  of  the  Forest  City  furniture  fac- 
tory. The  Furniture  Journal  company  was  or- 
ganized, in  which  A.  F.  Judd  and  George  W. 
Sherer    were    the    principal    stockholders.      The 


Journal  was  published  monthly  nearly  two  years, 
when  the  subscription  list  and  good  will  of  the 
paper  were  sold  to  Abraham  E.  Smith.  About 
1894  Mr.  Smith  sold  an  interest  to  P.  D.  Francis, 
and  a  year  or  two  later,  he  sold  his  remaining 
interest  to  J.  Newton  Nind.  Messrs.  Francis  and 
Nind  continued  its  publication  for  some  years  in 
Rockford.  In  the  meantime  other  trade  papers 
were  purchased  and  consolidated.  The  publica- 
tion office  was  removed  to  Chicago,  and  the  Jour- 
nal, now  a  semi-monthly,  is  one  of  the  most  pros- 
perous trade  papers  in  the  west. 

The  Monitor,  a  weekly  publication  in  the  in- 
terest of  the  prohibition  party,  issued  its  first 
number  in  May,  1885.  It  was  published  by  the 
Prohibition  company,  with  James  Lamont  as  sec- 
retary and  editor.  In  1890  the  Monitor  was  sold 
to  James  Lamont  and  Charles  M.  Whipple.  Its 
publication  was  continued  by  the  Monitor  Pub- 
lishing company  until  July,  1897,  when,  owing  to 
business  troubles  the  Alonitor  suspended. 

The  Oiicago  Lever  was  purchased  in  1892  by 
the  Monitor  Publishing  company  and  brought  to 
Rockford.  It  was  published  each  Thursday  and 
was  a  national  organ  of  the  prohibition  party. 
James  Lamont  was  editor.  In  July,  1897,  the 
Lever  was  sold  to  James  Lamont  and  Liberty 
Walkup,  who  in  February,  1899,  sold  it  to  DicKie 
&  Woolley,  and  the  office  of  publication  was 
transferred  to  Chicago.  In  September,  1899,  't 
was  merged  with  the  New  Voice  of  Chicago. 

The  Rockford  Morning  Star  is  the  first  suc- 
cessful morning  newspaper  published  in  the  city. 
Hon.  J.  Stanley  Browne,  the  editor-in-chief,  came 
to  Rockford  in  1887.  He  had  served  two  terms 
as  democratic  member  of  the  New  York  legis- 
lature from  Otsego  county,  and  for  five  years  was 
secretar\-  to  Lieutenant  Governor  Dorscheimer, 
when  Samuel  J.  Tilden  was  governor.  Mr. 
Browne's  first  newspaper  work  in  Rockford  was 
in  1887,  when  he  became  editor  and  publisher 
of  the  Rockford  Journal.  In  the  following  spring 
a  stock  company  was  organized  for  the  publica- 
tion of  the  Morning  Star,  and  March  20th  the 
first  number  was  issued.  Many  changes  have 
been  made  in  the  business  and  reportorial  staff, 
but,  with  a  brief  interim.  Mr.  Browne  has  been 
the  managing  editor  from  the  first. 

The  Farmer's  Monthly  was  started  by  A.  E. 
Smith,  and  sold  to  Messrs.  Bartlett,  Eaton  and 
McSweeney,  and  was  published  by  them  for 
several  years. 

In  the  spring  of  1890  the  Republican  company 
was  organized  with  a  capital  of  $10,000,  of  which 
about  $7,000  was  paid  in.  The  first  board  of 
directors  was  as  follows :  W.  H.  Worthington, 
H.  H.  Robinson,  H.  C.  Scovill.  W.  G.  Conick, 
H.  O.  Hilton,  W.  J.  Johnson,  Harry  Marean,  C. 
H.  Godfrey,  J.  A.  Johnson.  The  first  number  of 
the  Republican  was  issued  April  10,  1890,  with  H. 


>38 


PAST     AXD     PRF.SF.XT     OF     WIXXFliACO     COl'XTV. 


O.  Hilton  as  t-ilitor :  Harry  Marcan.  business 
manager,  and  Will  J.  Jolinson.  city  editor.  The 
Republican  was  a  morning  daily,  witliout  a  .Sun- 
day edition.  In  politics  tlic  pajK-r  was  radical 
republican.  In  1893  C.  D.  .Allyn.  who  bad  been 
on  the  staff  of  the  old  Daily  Ciaz.ette.  purchased  an 
interest,  and  the  company  issued  an  evening  edi- 
tion. There  were  several  changes  in  the  business 
management.  Mr.  Marean  being  succeeded  in  turn 
bv  Will  I.  Johnson.  W.  H.  Worthington  and  C. 
D.  .-Mlyn!  In  18./)  Charles  L.  .Miller.  Harry  M. 
Johnson  and  John  E.  Warfield  jjurchased  a  con- 
trolling interest  in  the  plant,  ancl  these  gentlemen 
are  still  the  owners  of  the  paper.  The  name  was 
changed  to  the  Republic. 

The  Sunday  Mercury,  started  in  December. 
1890.  bv  C.  H.  Seiders  and  Alex  Majors,  was  a 
creditable  weekly  paper,  but  only  a  few  numbers 
were   iniblished. 

In  1892  Charles  A.  Church  organized  a  stock 
com]5any.  with  a  capital  of  $5,000,  for  the  ])uhli- 
cation  of  the  .Spectator.  Abraham  E.  Smith  was 
business  manager,  and  the  pajier  was  printed  in 
the  office  of  the  Smith  Publishing  company.  The 
first  number  was  issued  May  21,  1892.  The 
Spectator  was  strictly  a  literary  and  family  paper 
of  sixteen  pages,  with  an  able  corps  of  contribut- 
ors. .\mong  the  latter  were  the  late  Mrs.  Eva 
T.  Clark.  Mrs.  Marie  T.  Perry.  Mrs.  Caroline 
A.  P.  P.razee.  Mrs.  Mary  L'rquhart  T-ee.  Mrs. 
H.  M.  Johnson.  Hon.  Gias.  E.  Fuller,  of  Relvi- 
dere,  and  the  Rev.  C.  H.  Moscrip.  of  Rockford. 
From  a  literary  point  of  view,  the  Spectator  was 
eminently  successful,  but  the  expense  of  maintain- 
ing it  was  far  beyond  the  receipts  that  a  new 
paper  of  its  kind  was  able  to  command.  .After 
one  year  the  distinctive  features  of  the  Si)ectator 
were  abandoned  and  the  paper  was  issued  as  a 
daily.  The  first  number  appeared  May  15.  1893. 
Tlic  financial  stringency  which  came  so  suddenly 
upon  the  country  during  the  summer  seriously 
embarrassed  the  princi|)al  stockholders  of  the 
Smith  Publishing  company,  which  had  absorbed 
the  .Spectator  com]>any.  and  in  .August.  i8(;3.  the 
daily  was  su.spended.  The  following  autumn  the 
publication  of  the  Spectator  was  resumed  as  a 
local  weekly,  and  continued  until  the  spring  of 
1805.  when  the  subscription  list  was  sold  to  the 
Monitor  company. 

The  Weekly  Recorder  was  started  in  Mav. 
189^).  by  Will  J.  Johnson.  It  kept  up  a  spirited 
existence  until  October.  1899.  when  the  paper  was 
sold  to  H.  O.  Hilton,  who  issued  a  few  numbers, 
and  about  Jaiuiary  ist  the  paper  was  discontinued. 

The  Owl  has  been  published  nearly  everv  vear 
since  1885  as  the  paper  of  the  Rockford  high 
.school.  The  editor,  business  manager  and  staff 
have  been  chosen  each  year  from  the  senior  class. 

The  Rockford  Review  was  issued  in  June.  1S91. 
by  the  Forest  City  Publishing  company.  It  was 
later  merged  with  the  Furniture  Journal. 


Winnebago    County    Schools    was    started    by 
.^ui)t.  C.  J.  Kinnie  in  1886.  and  was  continued  for 
a  short  time. 

The  .\gricultural  West  launched  by  Don. 
Xeedham  in  March.  1884.  but  was  soon  discon- 
tiiuied. 

\'ol.  I.  Xo.  I.  of  the  Rockford  Labor  Juurnal 
was  issued  July  9.  1898.     It  had  a  brief  career. 

One  number  of  the  Constitution  was  issued 
.August  25,   1890. 

Journal  of  Practical  Xursing  was  started  in 
1888.     It  was  edited  by  L.  C.  Brown.  M.  D. 

The  Rockford  .Air  Brush  was  started  in  1891, 
in  the  interest  of  the  company  of  that  name. 

The  Cnion  Printer  made  its  first  appearance 
.April  25,  1898. 

The  People's  Journal  made  its  first  appearance 
September  21.  1894.  It  was  published  by  the 
Calvert   I'rothers. 

The  -Advocate  was  launched  in  December. 
18S4.  by  W.  G.  Dustin.  in  the  interest  of  real 
estate. 

The  Rockford  Chief  was  pulilished  for  a  time 
bv  Mrs.  E.  Hertherington,  beginning  October  22, 
1892. 

The  Riickfiird  I'nion  Record  was  .started  Oc- 
tober 31.  1003.  by  John  W.  .Asjiegren.  It  is 
])ublishe(I  in  the  interest  of  organized  labor. 

The  Forest  City  was  published  for  a  time  in 
1S95-96  by  Tomblin   I'rothers. 

The  Hammer,  published  by  Dr.  E.  S.  Tebbetts 
in  the  interest  of  socialism,  has  ceased  to  exist. 

The  large  Swedish  population  of  Rockford  has 
created  a  demand  for  a  newspaper  published  in 
the  language  of  the  fatherland.  Several  attempts 
have  been  made  to  sujiply  this  need. 

Xva  Sverige  was  started  in  March.  1872.  by 
.A.  \\'.  Schalin.     It  lived  but  a  short  time. 

Rockford's  AUehanda  was  established  June  18, 
1884,  bv  Otto  Pallin.  The  name  was  changed  to 
Sveiiska  Fria-Fressen.  It  was  published  by  C. 
I""l)l)eser..  about  four  years. 

Jaiuiarv  4.  1889.  Mr.  Fbbesen  launched  another 
paper,  the  Posten.  It  was  jjublished  in  the  Crotty 
i)lock  on  East  State  street.  Subsequently  the 
jniblication  oflice  was  removed  to  the  I'nion 
block,  on  Kishwaukee  street,  where  it  has  since 
been  published.  .Mr.  Ebbesen  was  succeeded  in 
turn  bv  C.  J.  Sjostrom.  Fred  Swenson.  and  Prof. 
C.  .A.  Wendell.    The  present  editor  is  Mr.  Linden. 

Joltomten.  by  C.  Ebbesen.  was  ])ublished  Satur- 
days,  1st,  8th,  15th  and  22(\  of  December.   1888. 

RockfonKs  Harold  was  established  by  Magnus 
Larson.  .Apriri2,  1902.    One  number  was  issued. 

Framtiden  was  first  issued  .April  13.  1892.  by 
the  I'ramtiden  Publishing  company.  It  was  pub- 
lished three  or  four  years. 

I"or.skaren  was  started  September  4.  181)3,  by 
E.  I'iellander  and  F.  Malmc|uist. 

Folkets  Rost  was  issued  by  Charles  Henry. 
March  18,   1895.     Four  numbers  were  published. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


139 


Framat  was  started  l)v  Swenson  &  Bjork,  Sep- 
tember 15,  1903. 

The  German  population  of  Rockford  has  never 
been  large,  yet  it  has  for  many  years  supported 
a  church  and  a  newspaper.  The  Germania  was 
founded  as  a  four-page  weekly  by  John  Pingle  in 
1885.  The  present  proprietor  is  Herr  Ferd 
Stedinger,  who  for  many  years  has  been  in- 
stritctor  in  Gemian  at  the  Rockford  high  school. 

The  foregoing  is  believed  to  be  the  first  com- 
plete story  of  Rockford  newspapers  ever  pub- 
lished. The  list  might  be  continued  by  the  men- 
tion of  various  monthly  bulletins  issued  by  the 
churches  from  time  to  time,  the  Y.  M.  C.  A.,  the 
Business  college,  and  similar  organizations.  While 
these  performed  a  legitimate  function  in  their 
way.  they  scarcely  have  a  place  in  the  chronicle 
of   Rockford  newspapers. 

The  press  of  Rockford  has  not  been  the  ex- 
clusive purveyor  of  local  news.  .Several  news- 
papers have  been  started  in  the  other  towns  of 
the  comity. 

The  Rockton  Gazette  was  established  at  Rock- 
ton  in  1857,  by  Funk  &  Phelps.  j\Ir.  Funk  re- 
tired and  the  paper  was  continued  about  one  year 
bv  H.  W.  Pheljis.  The  office  and  fixtures  were 
removed  to  Burlington,  Wisconsin. 

The  Pecatonica  Independent  was  established  in 
May,  1859,  by  J.  E.  Duncan.  It  was  published 
about  one  year,  when  the  office  was  removed  to 
Darlington,  Wisconsin. 

The  Pecatonica  News  was  started  as  a  weekly 
newspaper  December  I.  1872.  A\'.  A.  and  Nate 
L.  Colby  were  editors  and  proprietors.  January 
I,  1881,  W.  A.  Colby  sold  his  interest  to  his 
brother,  who  continued  its  publication  up  to  the 
time  of  his  death,  July  11,  1904.  Gilbert  F.,  a 
son  of  N.  L.  Colby,  is  now  editor  and  manager 
for  the  estate. 

The  Winnebago  Reflector  was  established  Feb- 
ruary II,  1887,  published  by  the  Winnebago  C. 
L.  S.  C.     C.  F.  Trittle  is  the  present  publisher. 

The  Rockton  Weekly  Echo  was  established  De- 
cember 15,  1887.  L.  H.  Cook  was  editor  and 
publisher.    There  was  only  one  issue. 

The  Cherry  X'alley  Courier  was  established 
in  July.  1869,  by  Dr.  L.  Foote,  editor  and  pub- 
lisher.    It  was  published  three  months. 

The  newspaper  enterprises  of  Duraiid  are  as 
follows : 

Winnebago  Countv  Advertiser,  established  in 
1869  by  1\L  G.  Sheldon. 

Durand  Argus,  established  December  29,  1883, 
by  E.  E.  Pettingill. 

Durand  Free  Press,  established  Alarch  24. 
1888,  by  Johnson  Potter. 

Durand  Weekly  Echo,  established  June  30, 
1887,  by  L.  H.  Cook,  editor  and  publisher:  thirty 
numbers  issued. 

Durand    Weekly    Times,   established    February 


7,  1890,  by  E.  E.  Pettingill.  publisher  ;  seven  num- 
bers issued. 

Durand  Record,  established  April  30,  1890,  by 
John  R.  Bertsch.     Discontinued  August  i.  1890. 

Durand  Weekly  Clipper,  established  April  17, 
1891,  by  E.  I.  Schoolcraft;  still  published  by  W, 
H.   Tousley. 

ILLINOIS,    IOWA    &    MINNESOTA   RAILWAY. 

The  Illinois,  Iowa  &  Alinnesota  Railway  com- 
pany was  incorporated  under  the  laws  of  Illinois 
in  December,  1902.  The  line  was  completed  from 
Alomence  to  Rockford  about  October  I,  1905.  A 
line  has  been  projected  for  1906  from  Peotone, 
Illinois,  to  Michigan  City,  Indiana,  a  distance  of 
seventy-five  miles  ;  from  Rockford  to  Janesville, 
thirty  miles ;  and  from  Kirkland,  Illinois,  to 
Milwaukee,  a  distance  of  eighty  miles. 

The  mileage  operated  October  i,  1905,  was  as 
follows  :  Rockford  to  Aurora,  sixty-six  miles  ; 
Joliet  to  ]\Iomence,  thirty-five  miles.  The  com- 
pany has  trackage  rights  over  the  E.  J.  &  E., 
.Vurora  to  Joliet,  twenty-four  miles  :  total  mileage, 
one  hundred  and  twenty-five  miles.  The  guage 
is  four  feet  and  eight  and  one-half  inches. 
Seventy-pound  street  rails  have  been  used  in  con- 
struction. 

The  following  is  a  statement  of  finances ;  Oc- 
tober I,  1905,  the  capital  stock,  $5,000,000  in 
$100  shares  had  all  been  paid  in.  A  mortgage  has 
been  executed  to  the  Illinois  Trust  and  Savings 
bank.  Chicago,  as  trustee,  securing  an  issue  of 
$5,000,000  first  mortgage,  five  per  cent,  forty-year 
gold  $1,000  bonds,  due  March  i,  1944,  with 
interest  maturing  March  ist  and  September  ist 
at  the  office  of  the  trustee.  Of  this  amount 
$3,000,000  has  already  been  issued.  The  bonds 
are  limited  in  issue  to  $30,000  per  mile  of  main 
track,  and  are  secured  by  first  mortgage  on  all 
lines  constructed  or  to  be  constructed,  now  owned 
or  hereafter  to  be  acquired  within  the  counties  in 
Illinois  named  in  its  charter ;  also  any  line  or 
lines  of  railroad  which  may  be  constructed  under 
any  amendment  of  the  charter,  together  with  all 
branches  and  au.xiliary  lines,  all  charters,  fran- 
chises, etc.,  and  all  other  property  of  the  com- 
pany except  telegraph  and  telephone  lines.  Of 
this  amount  it  is  provided  that  $4,000,000  may 
be  issued  at  once  under  the  terms  of  the  deed  of 
trust,  the  remaining  $1,000,000  being  reserved  for 
the  purpose  of  construction  of  additional  lines. 
The  entire  issue  of  those  bonds  is  subject  to  re- 
demption at  $1.07  and  accrued  interest  on  an}^ 
first  day  of  September  or  March  after  March  i, 
1909,  provided  that  notice  of  such  intention  to 
redeem  be  given  at  least  six  months  before  the 
date  selected  for  such  payment  by  publication  at 
least  once  in  each  week  for  three  months,  be- 
ginning not   less   than   six   nor  more  than  seven 


140 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


months  before  the  day  of  redemption  in  one  Chi- 
cago and  one  New  York  daily  newspaper. 

The  directors  of  the  road  are  H.  \V.  Seaman. 
J.  C.  Duffin.  W.  F.  McSwiney.  Chicago;  J.  C. 
V'^an  Riper.  Edwards  W'hitaker  and  S.  W. 
Fordyce.  of  St.  Louis. 

The  road  was  christened  the  "Rnckford  Route" 
in  October,  1904,  at  which  time  the  trademark 
was  adopted. 

There  was  a  rumor  current  at  the  time  this 
manuscript  was  prepared  for  tlie  press  that  the 
Chicago  Great  Western  Railway  comiiany  would 
run  through  passenger  trains  over  the  new  line 
of  the  I.  I.  &  M..  between  Chicago  and  Rockford 
througli  Sycamore,  via  Wilkinson  Crossing,  five 
miles  west  of  Sycamore. 

LATER  ECCLESL\STICAL  HISTORY. 

COURT    STREET    METHODISI. 

The  Court  Street  Methodist  church  was  or- 
ganized January'  i.  1852.  Its  first  house  of 
worship  on  North  Court  street  was  dedicated  in 
November.  1854.  at  a  cost  of  $7,000.  The  first 
])astor  was  Rev.  Chatfield.  His  successors  have 
been  Revs.  W.  F.  Stewart.  Luman  .\.  Sanford. 
Wm.  P.  Grav,  James  R.  Goodrich,  W'm.  E. 
Daniels.  T.  B.  Taylor.  J.  H.  \'incent.  V.  V.  Cleve- 
land. T.  C.  Clendenning.  L.  .Meredith.  W.  Aug. 
Smith.  C.  E.  Mandevi'lle.  T.  P.  Marsh.  T.  R. 
Strobridge.  P.  H.  Swift.  W.  A.  Philliiis.  W.  O. 
Shepard.  Fred  H.  Sheets.  Rfibert  H.  Pooley.  and 
Frank  D.  Sheets.  The  present  house  of  worship 
was  dedicated  in  May.  1887.  The  site  for  the 
parsonage  was  purchased  from  the  Horsman  es- 
tate in  1884,  and  the  house  was  completed  in  Oc- 
tober of  the  same  vear.  The  total  value  of  the 
church  property  is  $65,000.  The  membership  re- 
ported to  the  annual  conference  in  October.  1904. 
was  957. 

ST.    J.\MES    CATHOLIC. 

Information  concerning  the  early  history  of  St. 
James  Catholic  church  is  very  meager.  Tlie 
records  are  said  to  have  been  destroyed  in  the 
Chicago  fire  of  1871.  Mass  was  celebrated  in 
the  hoines  of  Catholic  settlers  in  Rockford  by 
priests  located  at  New  Dublin  and  Freeport  pre- 
vious to  1850.  Father  Gueguen  said  mass  and 
baptized  children  in  1840.  The  ])ermanent  or- 
ganization dates  from  1850.  After  ])urchasing 
lots  Father  Hampston  was  appointed  priest  of 
the  parish  in  1851,  by  P.ishop  \'an  de  \'elle.  He 
was  the  first  resident  pastor,  and  built  the  first 
church  in  1852.  Father  Hampston  died  while  in 
charge  of  the  parish,  and  is  buried  under  the 
l)resent  church.  The  present  St.  James  church 
was  begun  in  1866.  and  dedicated  the  following 
year  under  the  pastf)rate  of  Rev.  J.  S.  O'Neill. 
The  pastors  of  St.  James'  church  have  been  as 


follows :  Revs.  John  Hampston,  George  Hamil- 
ton. William  Lambert.  J.  Bulger,  John  P.  Done- 
Ian.  J.  S.  O'Neill.  Joseph  McMahoii.  T.  J.  Butler, 
and  James  J.  I'^laherty.  Father  Flaherty  has  been 
in  charge  of  the  parish  twenty  years,  and  is  thus 
the  oldest  ])astor  in  the  city  in  continuous  service. 
He  .started  the  parochial  school  in  1886.  and  in 
1891  com])leted  the  present  brick  structure  at  a 
cost  of  $17,000.  The  deanery  was  erected  in  1878 
by  Dean  Butler  and  cost  $8,000.  St.  James  church 
has  expended  $68,000  in  church  property.  The 
])resent  membership  is  about  1.300. 

J-IUST    I'KKSBYTERIAN. 

The  Presbyterians  of  early  Rockford  worshiped 
with  the  Congregationalists  for  several  years. 
.\ftcr  holding  services  in  various  places  the  little 
company  of  Presbyterians  was  formally  organized 
July  8.  1834.  Rev.  Hugh  A.  Brown  was  the 
first  stated  supply,  and  served  until  January  i, 
1858.  when  Rev.  John  M.  Paris  was  called.  Rev. 
I'^aris'  pastorate  continued  until  (Jctober.  1862. 
His  successors  have  been  Revs.  Faunt  Leroy 
Senour.  J.  S.  Grimes.  .A.  J.  Leyenberger  (now 
shortened  to  Berger).  James  Cruickshanks.  J.  K. 
Fowler.  J.  R.  Sutherland.  George  Harkness.  B. 
E.  .S.  Ely.  The  latter  has  now  been  upon  the  field 
eleven  years.  In  September  following  the  or- 
ganization, the  congregation  worshiped  in  the 
old  I'nitarian  church,  on  the  northeast  corner  of 
Elm  and  C'hurch  streets,  and  in  1855  the  Uni- 
tarian ])ro])erty  was  purchased.  The  .society  used 
it  for  a  time  on  the  old  site,  and  then  removed  it 
to  the  northeast  corner  of  State  and  Winnebago 
streets,  where  the  church  continued  to  worship 
until  December  20.  1868,  when  it  took  possession 
of  its  ]irescnt  house  of  worship.  In  1904  the 
church  purchased  the  projjcrty  on  the  corner  of 
North  .Slain  and  North  streets,  owned  by  Dr. 
Rohr.  and  is  now  erecting  a  handsome  house  of 
worshij).  which  will  probably  be  dedicated  in 
February.  1906.  The  society  also  owns  a  par- 
sonage and  upon  the  completion  of  the  new 
church  will  have  property  worth  $60,000.  Its 
menihershii)  in  round  numbers  is  600. 

FrusT  i.r  L  iii:uAN. 

The  First  Lutheran  church  was  organized 
January  15.  1854,  with  seventy-seven  communi- 
cants and  thirty-two  children.  The  first  house 
of  worshij)  was  built  on  the  ct)rner  of  North  First 
street  and  Lafayette  avenue.  The  dedication  oc- 
curred November  23,  1856,  and  the  sermon  was 
preached  by  Dr.  Hasselquist.  This  building  is 
still  standing  and  forms  a  part  of  Mrs.  J.  Fried- 
man's double  house.  The  first  pastor  was  called 
in  1856,  and  his  jiastorate  continued  until  i860. 
In  that  vear  the  church  withdrew  from  the  synod 
of   nortiiern    Illinois   and   joined   the   Augiistana 


PAST     AXD     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


141 


synod.  The  present  church  was  built  in  1883,  at 
a  cost  of  about  $60,000.  It  is  the  largest 
auditorium  in  the  city,  with  a  seating  capacity  of 
2,500.  The  church  owns  Luther  hall,  a  paro- 
chial school  on  Kishwaukee  street,  and  another  on 
Fourteenth  avenue.  It  also  owns  a  parsonage 
on  South  Third  street.  The  pastors  of  the 
church  have  been  Revs.  Andreen,  A.  W.  Dahl- 
sten,  (;.  Peters,  L.  A.  Johnston,  E.  C.  Jessup,  as- 
sistant :  Joel  Haaf,  J.  F.  Seedoff.  In  January, 
1904,  the  church  celebrated  the  golden  jubilee  of 
its  organization.  The  communicant  membership 
is  1540,  the  largest  of  any  Swedish  Lutheran 
church  in  America.  The  total  membership,  in- 
cluding children,  is  2,250.  The  church  owns 
property  to  the  value  of  $85,000. 

WESTMINSTER    PRESBYTERI.\N. 

Westminster  Pre.sb\terian  church  was  organ- 
ized January  3,  1856,  with  22  members,  many  of 
whom  had  taken  letters  from  the  First  Congre- 
gational church.  It  was  first  called  the  Second 
Presbyterian  church,  and  the  name  was  subse- 
quently changed  to  Westminster.  Rev.  Morrison 
Huggins  was  the  first  pastor,  who  served  until 
1859.  The  first  place  of  worship  was  the  historic 
courthouse  on  North  F'irst  street.  In  the  sum- 
mer of  1856  a  ch?pel  was  completed  on  the 
ground  now  occupied  by  the  lecture  room.  This 
chapel  soon  proved  too  small,  and  public  worship 
was  conducted  in  Metropolitan  hall,  pending  the 
erection  of  the  present  church,  which  was  dedicat- 
ed in  1858.  The  following  have  served  the  church 
as  pastors  or  stated  supplies :  Revs.  Morrison 
Huggins,  L.  H.  Johnson,  Charles  Mattoon, 
ChaVles  A.  Williams"  W.  S.  Curtis,  J.  H.  Ritchie, 
T.  S.  Scott,  S.  L.  Conde,  W.  M.  Campbell,  W.  T. 
Wilcox,  and  John  Henry  Boose.  The  present 
pastor  has  been  on  the  field  three  years,  coming 
directly  from  McCormick  seminary.  The  value 
of  the  church  property  is  $25,000.  Its  member- 
ship is  325.  A  parsonage  was  erected  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1905  on  the  lot  adjoining  the  church  on 
the  north,  at  a  cost  of  about  $3,700. 

WINNEBAGO  STREET   METHODIST. 

Winnebago  Street  Methodist  church  had  its 
origin  in  a  Sunday-school,  which  was  started 
May  20,  1856,  and  which  held  its  sessions  in  a 
grove  on  the  river  bank.  The  church  was  or- 
ganized March  4,  1864,  at  the  home  of  Israel 
Sovereign.  The  roll  of  members  numbered 
twenty-eight.  Ground  was  broken  for  a  church 
August  8,  1864,  and  the  corner-stone  was  laid 
August  24.  The  address  was  made  by  the  Rev. 
Thomas  M.  Eddy,  author  of  a  work  in  two 
volumes,  The  Patriotism  of  Illinois.  The  cost 
of  the  church  was  $8,000,  and  was  dedicated 
February  12,  1865,  by  Dr.  Eddy.    The  parsonage 


was  built  in  1867,  at  a  cost  of  $1,250.  The  fol- 
lowing named  pastors  have  served  the  church: 
Revs.  Robert  Bentlev,  Wm.  D.  Skelton,  Henry  L. 
Martin,  John  M.  Caldwell,  F.  A.  Reed,  R.  S. 
Cantine,  Wm.  S.  Harrington,  W.  H.  Smith,  J.  M. 
Clendenning,  Wm.  H.  Haight,  Henry  Lea,  J.  W. 
Richards,  F.  F.  Farmiloe,  M.  L.  Norris,  and  F. 
I?.  Hardin.    A  fine  brick  structure  was  erected  in 

1904,  and  was  dedicated  Sunday,  November  27th. 
The  church  has  property  worth  $25,000.  The 
membership  is  about  300. 

STATE   STREET    B.\PTIST. 

The  State  Street  Baptist  church  was  formally 
organized  in  the  vestry  of  Westminster  Presby- 
terian church,  August  17,  1858.  Three  of  the 
original  members  are  now  living  in  the  city:  Mrs. 
Jane  Hazlett,  Catherine  Hazlet't,  Mrs.  J.  P.  Lar- 
gent.  Rev.  Edward  C.  Mitchell  was  called  to  the 
])astorate  August  31st.  The  first  organist  was 
Prof.  D.  N.  Hood.  A  chapel  was  erected  at  the 
juncture  of  Market,  State  and  North  Fifth  streets, 
which  is  still  standing.  This  chapel  was  dedicated 
February  2,  i860.  The  organization  was  first 
called  the  Second  Baptist  church,  but  on  the  choice 
of  a  permanent  location,  the  name  was  changed 
October  26,  1858,  to  the  State  Street  Baptist 
church.  The  present  house  of  worship  was  cledi- 
cated  November  18,  1868.  The  cost  was  $34,000. 
Dr.  Mitchell's  successors  in  the  pastorate  have 
been :  Revs.  Spencer  Holt,  Henry  C.  Mabie,  E. 
K.  Chandler,  A.  R.  Medbury,  C.  R.  Lathrop,  J.  T. 
Burhoe,  R.  F.  Y.  Pierce,  Langlev  B.  Sears,  J.  T. 
Burhoe,  R.  R.  Perkins.  Rev.  J.  T.  Burhoe's  first 
pastorate  was  the  longest  in  the  history  of  the 
church.  It  began  in  September,  1883,  and  closed 
in  February,  1892.  His  second  pastorate  began 
in  November,  1898.    Rev.  Burhoe  died  March  14, 

1905,  and  his  funeral  was  the  occasion  of  an 
unusual  demonstration  of  sorrow  which  was  felt 
by  all  classes  of  people.  His  two  pastorates  thus 
cover  a  little  more  than  fourteen  vears.  In 
March  a  call  was  extended  to  Rev.  Richard  Roy 
Perkins,  Ph.,  D.,  and  he  entered  upon  his  full 
pastoral  duties  in  July.  The  present  membership 
is  about  440.  The  value  of  its  property  is  $29,000. 

SWEDISH    METHODIST. 

The  Swedish  ^Methodist  church  was  organized 
January  30,  1861,  at  the  home  of  P.  A.  Peterson, 
on  Charles  street,  with  tw'elve  members.  The  so- 
ciety purchased  the  old  Westminster  chapel  for 
$600.  and  reinoved  it  to  First  avenue.  The  pres- 
ent brick  edifice  was  erected  in  1877,  and  was 
dedicated  by  Rev.  C.  E.  Mandeville.  The  par- 
sonage was  built  in  1888.  The  following  pastors 
have  served  the  society :  Revs.  V.  Whitting, 
Albert  Erickson,  Peter  Newberg,  August  Wester- 
gren,    Oscar    Shorgren,    Olof    Qunderson,    John 


142 


PAST     AND     PRESENT    OF     WIXXEBAGO    COUNTY. 


Lind,  A.  Y.  Wcsterpren,  S.  B.  Newman,  John 
Wcafjren,  S.  D.  Sorleiiic,  Herman  Lindskog.  N. 
i;.  Xelson.  J.  M.  Objerholm.  A.  Kahlin.  A.  Dahl- 
berg.  M.  Hess,  O.  F.  Lindstrom,  Richard  Ceder- 
berg.  X.  M.  I-iljerren.  .^  .  v.  S  >r..- 
son  and  P.  M.  Alfvin.  The  value  of  the  church 
|)roperty  is  $12,500.  There  are  200  members  in 
full  connection  besides  jirobationers.  P.  A.  Peter- 
son is  the  onlv  charter  member  of  the  society  now- 
living.  He  resides  in  the  same  house  in  which  the 
church  organized,  and  is  over  eighty  years  of  age. 
The  church  is  out  of  debt,  and  the  Sunday-school 
has.  a  memlx^rship  of  about  250. 

CHURCH   OF  Tin;   niUISTI.VN   cxiox. 

The  Giurch  of  the  Christian  L'nion  had  its 
origin  in  the  exjiulsion  of  Dr.  Kerr  from  the 
])astorate  of  the  First  liajjtist  church.  He  had  be- 
come a  convert  to  a  more  liberal  faith,  and  he  and 
fortv-eight  sym])athizers  were  obliged  to  seek 
other  affiliations.  In  .Sq)teniber.  1870.  a  religious 
society  was  organized  by  the  engagement  of  Rev. 
Dr.  Kerr  as  jireacher,  and  the  election  of  tem- 
porary executive  and  finance  committees.  Public 
preaching  services  were  immediately  begun  in 
Brown's  hall.  On  Sunday,  October  9,  the  execu- 
tive committee  presented  a  report  which  offered  a 
plan  of  Christian  fellowslii]).  .\11  per.sons  who 
desired  to  form  a  church  upon  this  basis  were 
requested  to  send  in  their  nanios  on  the  succeeding 
.^^abbatli.  The  church  was  formallv  organizerl 
Wednesday,  October  26,  1870.  The  meeting  was 
held  in  Haskell's  hall.  Duncan  Ferguson  pre- 
sided, and  James  S.  Ticknor  was  secretary.  The 
executive  committee  again  presented  its  basis  of 
church  fellowshij),  which  was  read  and  unani- 
mously adojned.  The  names  received  in  rei)ly 
to  the  public  notice  of  October  9th  were  cnlled, 
and  104  i)ers(jns  responded.  Tiiese  constituted  the 
charter  members  of  the  church. 

It  was  resolved  that  "Those  who  have  responded 
to  the  call  of  their  names,  as  accepting  the  basis 
of  Christian  fellowship  which  has  now  been 
ado])ted,  shall  constitute  tlie  membership  of  the 
church,  togi-ther  with  those  not  personally  pres- 
ent, whose  names  have  been  received  on  their 
subscribing  to  this  basis  of  fellowship."  A  i)lan 
was  adoptefl  for  the  order  of  the  church.  On 
motion  of  Melancthon  .Starr,  it  was  unanimously 
resolved  to  call  Dr.  Thomas  Kerr,  at  a  salarv  of 
$2,000  a  year.  H.  X.  Starr  was  elected  clerk  of 
the  church,  and  Dtmcan  Ferguson,  treasurer.  The 
first  board  of  trustees  was  composer!  of  David  C 
Sears,  William  Peters,  Seymour  Bronson.  J.  F. 
Lander,  and  C.  I.  Horsman.  Regular  Sunday 
services  were  first  held  in  Brown's  hall.  Upon 
the  completion  of  the  new  courthouse,  public 
worship  was  conducted  for  a  time  in  the  circtiit 
court  room,  and  later  in  the  opera  house.     After 


eighteen  years  of  successful  work  the  church  de- 
cided to  erect  its  own  house  of  worship.  The 
corner-stone  was  laid  September  17,  1888.  .Ad- 
dresses were  made  by  Rev.  Jenkin  Lloyd  Jones, 
Dr.  H.  W.  Thomas  and  Dr.  Kerr.  Mrs.  John  H. 
Sherratt  read  an  original  poem.  Congratulatory 
letters  were  sent  by  distinguished  representatives 
of  liberal  Christianity.  .\fter  thirty  years  of 
faithful  service  Dr.  Kerr  tendered  his  resignation 
in  the  autumn  of  1900.  He  continued  as  pastor 
emeritus  until  his  death,  January  3,  1904.  Dr. 
Kerr  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  Robert  C.  Bryant, 
who  began  his  duties  in  the  autumn  of  1901.  Mr. 
Bryant  came  to  Rockford  from  Lisbon,  Xew 
IIam])shire.  He  studied  two  years  at  L'nion  The- 
ological Seminary,  and  one  year  at  .\uburn  Semi- 
nary, a  Presbyterian  school.  The  membership  of 
the  fhurcll  is  about  330. 

SWEDISH     EV.\XGi:i.KAI-     MI.SSIOX. 

The  .Swedish  Evangelical  Mission  society  was 
organized  June  i,  1875.  Its  faith  is  that  of  the 
.Swedish  Alission  covenant  and  its  form  of  gov- 
ernment is  congregational.  The  church  has  a 
large  brick  stnicture,  known  as  Mission  taber- 
nacle, on  Kishwaukee  street,  with  a  seating  ca- 
pacity of  1, 100.  There  is  a  membership  of  about 
500.  The  Sunday  school  is  the  largest  in  W'in- 
nebago  county,  with  over  700  members.  The 
church  owns  property  worth  $12,500.  The 
l)astors  have  l>een  Revs.  Palm(|uist  Lindell.  John 
C.ustafson,  \\"enstrand,  .\lfred  Karlen,  F.  M. 
Johnson,  who  .served  eleven  years,  S.  W.  Stmd- 
berg,  who  served  seven  years,  and  O.  P.  Peter- 
.son,  who  came  in  the  spring  of  1905. 

CENTE.XXI.M.    METHODIST  EPISCOP.\L. 

This  society  was  formed  by  the  union  of  the 
old  First  and  Third  street  Methodist  Episcopal 
churches  on  May  19,  1876,  during  the  pastorate 
of  Rev.  Hooper  Crews,  a  man  of  God  whose 
memory  is  as  ointment  poured  forth.  The  board 
of  trustees  elected  Mav  Kjth  was  Hon.  William 
Brown,  George  Troxell.  Clark  Miller,  Harmon  B. 
.'^ol1er,  John  Budlong.  Joseph  Rodd,  Thomas  G. 
Lawler,  Reuben  Sovereign  and  John  C.  Cireg- 
ory.  It  was  agreed  that  a  new  and  suitable 
church  building  should  be  erected  as  soon  as  pos- 
sible, which  task  was  consummated  during  the 
pastorate  of  Rev.  G.  R.  \'aidiorne.  This  build- 
ing which  now  stands  at  South  .'Second  and  Oak 
streets,  was  completed  in  1883  and  dedicated  by 
Dr.  Cnow  Bishop")  Fowler.  .Sunday,  September 
9,  1883.  This  church  building  occupies  one  of 
the  most  beautiful  sites  in  the  city  and.  together 
with  the  parsonage,  is  valued  at  $50,000.  The 
pastors  appointed  to  this  churcli  since  its  organiza- 
tion have  been:  1877-78,  Hooper  Crews;  1878-81, 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


143 


William  A.  Spencer:  1881-84,  Garret  R.  \'an- 
horne ;  1884-87.  William  Aug.  Smith;  1887-90, 
Martin  E.  Cady;  1890-91,  Fred  Porter  and  J.  R. 
Hamilton;  1891-93,  J.  S.  Bell;  1893-96,  John  N. 
Hall;  1896-1901,  W.  W.  Painter;  1901-02.  John 
Thompson;  1902-1905,  Harlow  \".  Holt.  Rev. 
F.  W.  Barniun  was  assigned  by  the  conference  of 
1905.  The  church  membership  now  numbers 
620  people,  with  a  Sunday  school  enrollment  of 
450- 

EVANGELICAL   LUTHERAN    {GER.\L\n). 

A  German  Lutheran  congregation  was  or- 
ganized in  the  '70s  by  Rev.  F.  N.  Richman,  of 
Elgin,  with  the  name  of  Emmanuel  Lutheran. 
This  church  is  now  extinct. 

About  1882  dissensions  arose  and  a  number 
withdrew  and  organized  the  Evangelical  Lutheran 
St.  Paul's  church,  U.  A.  C,  which  means  the 
Unaltered  Augsburg  Confession,  as  contained  in 
the  Book  of  Concord  of  1580.  Services  were  con- 
ducted by  supplies  until  1888.  when  Rev.  L.  Dorn 
was  called.  The  present  faithful  pastor  is  Rev. 
Otto  Qruner.  He  has  been  in  charge  since  1895, 
and  the  church  is  in  a  prosperous  condition.  There 
are  about  450  members.  The  church  is  erecting 
a  new  house  of  worship  on  Horsman  street. 

EPWORTH    METHODIST. 

E]iworth  ?\L  E.  church  was  organized  as  the 
Ninth  Street  church  in  the  spring  of  1876,  by 
Rev.  G.  L.  Wiley,  who  was  then  pastor  of  the 
First  church.  The  society  was  designed  to  be  a 
feeder  for  the  First  church,  and  began  with 
fifteen  charter  members.  The  Swedish  Methodist 
church  building  was  purchased  for  $300,  and  re- 
moved to  Ninth  street,  at  a  cost  of  $300.  The 
first  year  the  society  was  under  the  care  of  the 
First  church.  The  second  year  the  pastor  was 
sent  by  conference,  and  since  that  time  the  church 
has  maintained  an  independent  existence.  In  1891 
the  old  church  was  sold  for  $75,  and  a  new  edifice 
erected  on  the  old  site.  The  new  church  was 
later  removed  to  its  present  location  at  the  corner 
of  Parmele  street  and  Fourteenth  avenue,  and  the 
name  changed  to  Epworth  church.  The  pastors 
have  been  Revs.  G.  L.  Wilev.  Joseph  Odgers,  W. 
A.  Spencer.  W.  H.  Barrett,  A.'j.  Brill.  E."j.  Rose, 
Joseph  Warden,  H.  L.  Martin.  F.  R.  Hall.  J.  L. 
Gardner,  J.  W.  Irish.  J.  L.  Chase.  Frank  Milne. 
Charles  Wentworth,  C.  F.  Kleihauer.  C.  A. 
Briggs.     The  membership  is  about  75. 

ST.    MAR\^S    CATHOLIC. 

St.  Mary's  church  was  organized  in  1885  by 
the  Rev.  E.  A.  Murphy,  who  subsequently  re- 
moved to  Chicago,  and  there  died  in  September. 
1903.     The  parish  wr.s  originally  a  part    of    St. 


James'  church.  The  corner-stone  was  laid  in  the 
summer  of  1885,  with  an  imposing  ceremony,  in 
which  a  large  number  of  priests  from  Chicago 
officiated.  Tlie  following  pastors  have  succeeded 
Rev.  Murphy :  Rev.  M.  E.  McLaughlin,  now  de- 
ceased ;  and  Rev.  P.  A.  ^IcMann.  The  follow- 
ing priests  have  served  as  assistants :  Revs.  John 
Dorsey,  Green,  A.  Carr,  Stephen  Woulfe,  S.  P. 
Byrne,  James  A.  Solon.  John  P.  Harrington.  Paul 
Burke.  The  church  has  a  membership  of  about 
2.500,  and  the  parish  is  one  of  the  most  important 
in  the  diocese.  The  church  has  property  worth 
not  less  than  $70,000. 

EMMANUEL  LUTHERAN   CHURCH. 

This  church  was  organized  as  a  Swedish  con- 
gregation in  the  general  synod  July  20.  1882, 
with  eighty-five  members.  A  lot  was  purchased 
on  the  corner  of  Third  avenue  and  Sixth  street. 
The  church  was  dedicated  October  14.  1883.  The 
general  svnod  pastors  have  been :  C.  Anderson, 
1882-84  ;'C.  Hansen,  1884-88;  C.  Ross,  1888-90. 
The  church  withdrew  from  the  general  synod  and 
entered  Augustana  synod  in  1890.  While  yet  a 
Swedish  congregation  it  employed  the  following 
.\ugustana  pastors:  A.  P.  Fors,  1890-91:  G. 
Juhlin,  1892-95.  On  the  22d  of  April,  1895.  ^ 
bold  step  was  taken ;  the  mother  tongue  was 
abandoned  and  the  language  of  the  land  adopted. 
Those  unable  to  understand  the  latter  quietly 
withdrew  and  others  soon  began  to  take  their 
places.  As  an  English-speaking  congregation  it 
has  emploved  the  following  lavmen  and  pastors : 
Mr.  Edwin  Stenholm,  1895  ;  Mr.  C.  A.  W'endell, 
1895-97;  Rev.  Oscar  Nelson,  1897-00:  Rev.  O. 
AI.  Anderson.  1900-01  ;  Rev.  C.  O.  Solberg,  1901- 
03;  Prof.  C.  J.  Sodergren.  1903  (summer 
months)  ;  Rev.  C.  A.  Wendell  since  January  i, 
1904.  The  change  of  language  has  proven  wise 
and  timelv,  and  the  work  nas  been  highlv  success- 
ful. 

GRACE    M.    E. 

Grace  AI.  E.  church  was  organized  in  the 
autumn  of  1891  to  meet  the  needs  of  a  growing 
population  on  the  west  side  of  Kent's  creek.  There 
were  thirty-nine  charter  members.  Sorne  of 
these  came  from  other  churches,  but  the  society 
was  not  an  offshot  from  any  other  body.  The 
church  was  organized  under  the  administration 
of  Presiding  Elder  Haight.  The  first  pastor  was 
Rev.  Frank  D.  Sheets,  who  served  five  years.  His 
successors  have  been  Revs.  Frank  McNamer,  J. 
B.  Robinson,  T.  E.  Ream.  E.  K.  D.  Hester,  and 
T.  R.  Strobridge. 

CHRISTIAN    SCIENCE. 

This  church  was  organized  several  years  ago, 
and  has  maintained  regular  services.     Its  present 


144 


I'AST     AXU     PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


place  of  meeting  is  Mendelssohn  hall.  A  reading 
room  is  maintained  in  the  Lathrop  block,  on 
North  Church  street.  The  membership  is  gaining 
steailily. 

AFRICAN    METHODIST   EPISCOPAU 

The  African  Methodist  chnrch  was  the  out- 
growth of  a  Sunday  school  held  for  some  years 
in  the  First  Congregational  church.  It  was  or- 
ganized in  1891,  with  only  seven  members.  The 
chnrch  owns  property  on  the  corner  of  Elm  and 
W'iimebago  streets,  worth  $6,000.  The  little 
society  has  been  burdened  for  many  years  with  a 
mortgage,  which  has  been  assumed,  pro  rata,  by 
the  stronger  churches  of  the  city.  The  church 
has  been  served  by  the  following  pastors :  Revs. 
F.  B.  Jones.  J.  C.  Anderson,  Richmond  Taylor, 
Lewis  Dixon,  Sandy  McDowell.  P.  P.  Taylor, 
S.  B.  Moore  and  C.  H.  Thomas.  Mr.  .Moore  came 
upon  the  field  in  October,  1900,  and  has  faith- 
fully labored  for  the  u])lifting  of  his  people.  The 
church  has  a  membership  of  forty-live.  The  con- 
gregation, however,  is  much  larger. 

SWEDISH    FREIC    ClU'RCII. 

The  Swedish  Free  church,  on  Fourth  avenue, 
has  a  membership  of  325,  a  gain  of  100  per  cent, 
in  three  years.  The  value  of  the  church  property 
is  $6,000.  Besides  this  a  lot,  worth  $2,700  has 
been  purchased  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  avenue 
and  Sixth  street,  on  which  a  cliurch  is  now  in 
process  of  construction. 

TRIXnV   I.UrillCRAX. 

The  Trinity  F.nglish  l.utlieraii  cluirch  is  one 
of  the  latest  additions  to  the  long  list  of  Rock- 
ford  churches.  The  society  was  organized  by 
Rev.  W.  H.  Manss.  March  10,  1895,  with  forty 
members.  Services  were  held  in  the  Y.  M.  C.  A. 
building  and  later  in  the  brick  building  owned 
by  the  old  Christian  church.  In  1898  the  society 
purchased  this  property  for  $3,400.  The  growth 
of  the  membership  was  rapid  and  soon  outgrew 
the  edifice,  which  was  torn  down  to  make  room 
for  a  more  commodious  structure.  This  house 
of  worship  was  dedicated  December  16,  1900. 
Rev.  Manss  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  H.  M.  Ban- 
ncn,  to  whom  the  church  is  indebted  for  its  un- 
usual growth.  He  is  an  eloquent  preacher  and  an 
indefatigable  worker,  and  his  magnetic  person- 
alitv  has  been  the  inspiration  of  liis  people.  In 
the  spring  f)f  1804.  while  the  pastor  was  in  Pal- 
estine, the  church  i)urchased  the  Trowbridge 
homestead,  on  Lafayette  aveiuie.  for  a  ])arsonage. 
The  church  now  has  a  membership  of  over  600. 

CENTRAL  CHRISTIAN. 

The  present  Central  Qiristian  church  is  the 
result  of  an  heroic  effort  to  succeed  an  older  so- 


ciety which  had  disbanded.  It  was  organized 
.Xovember  20,  1898,  with  twenty-three  members, 
after  holding  a  scries  of  revival  meetings. 

In  1899  Rev.  D.  R.  Lucas,  national  chaplain  of 
the  G.  A.  R.,  was  called  to  the  pastorate  and 
meetings  were  helil  in  Y.  M.  C.  A.  hall.  In  Au- 
gust, 1900,  Rev.  ().  F.  Jordan,  the  present  pastor, 
began  his  labors.  The  society  dedicated  its  first 
house  of  worshi])  .\pril  14,  1901.  This  was  the 
property  on  South  Church  street  originally  owned 
by  the  old  Unitarian  Society,  but  which  had 
])assed  into  other  hands.  The  church  has  one 
liundrcd  and  sixty  members. 

SWiailSII    liAl'TI.ST. 

The  .Swedish  Baptist  church  owns  a  brick 
house  of  worship  at  the  corner  of  Fourth  avenue 
and  Seventh  street  valued  at  $16,400.  The  church 
affiliates  with  the  Rock  River  Baptist  Associa- 
tion, and  in  June  last  reported  a  membership  to 
that  body  of  254. 

ZION    LUTHERAN. 

Zion  Lutheran  church  is  one  of  the  largest  and 
most  prosperous  Swedish  churches  in  Rockford. 

It  is  located  on  Sixth  street. 

S.\L\.\TloX    .\RMV    AXn    VOLUNTEERS. 

The  Salvation  .\mi\-  and  the  X'olunteers  of 
.\merica  have  covered  the  local  field  with  varying 
degrees  of  success  for  some  years. 

YOUNG   men's  CHRISTIAN  A.S.S0CIATI0N. 

The  Young  Men's  Christian  Association  was 
first  organized  in  1858.  .\  few  men  are  still  liv- 
nig  in  Rockford  who  were  members  of  the  early 
organization.  This  association  held  its  meetings 
the  first  year  in  the  different  churches,  but  the 
second  vear  it  rented  commodious  rooms  in  the 
Buxton  building  at  the  corner  of  Wyman  and 
State  street,  now  occupied  by  the  street  railway 
compan}  as  offices  and  transfer  station.  With 
the  breaking  out  of  the  great  Civil  war  it,  like 
many  others,  was  forced  to  suspend,  the  last 
meeting  recorded  being  January  6,  1862. 

The  present  Y.  M.  C.  A.  was  organized  in 
1876.  The  call  for  the  first  meeting  was  signed 
bv  W.  H.  Worthington,  Charles  E.  Sheldon,  T. 
G.  Lawler.  F.  J.  Leonard.  H.  H.  West.  S.  J. 
Caswell.  E.  P."  Thomas.  G.  L.  Wiley.  L.  A. 
Trowbridge.  C.  L.  \\^illiams  and  others. 

The  first  meeting  was  held  .\pril  17th  in  the 
lecture  room  of  the  State-street  Baptist  church. 
It  was  called  to  order  by  L.  .\.  Trowbridge,  who 
stated  the  object  of  the  meeting.  May  i.  1876, 
the     organization     was     completed,     constitution 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


145 


adopted  and  officers  elected,  in  Congregational 
hall,  319  West  State  street.  E.  P.  Thomas  was 
elected  president ;  L.  A.  Trowbridge,  first  vice- 
president  ;  W.  H.  Worthington,  second  vice-presi- 
dent; Charles  E.  Sheldon,  secretary,  and  D.  I. 
Waddell,  treasurer. 

Rooms  known  as  the  "library  rooms"  in  the 
old  Ashton  store  building,  corner  of  Main  and 
State  streets,  were  occupied  by  the  association 
from  1876  to  1890.  Reading  and  social  rooms 
were  maintained  from  the  first.  Religious  meet- 
ings were  held  Sunday  afternoons  and  Monday 
evenings,  many  conversions  resulting.  For  a 
time  meetings  were  held  at  noon  each  day.  A 
gymnasium  was  started  in  1885.  Practical  talks 
and  lectures  were  maintained  each  winter;  even- 
ing educational  classes  were  a  regular  feature  in 
the  early  '80s.  A  work  for  boys  was  started  in 
1886. 

July  6,  1884,  at  the  close  of  the  Sunday  meet- 
ing, a  special  meeting  was  held.  Agitation  for  a 
building  was  begun  and  a  fund  of  $921  was 
pledged  to  start  the  movement.  W.  H.  Worth- 
ington took  the  initiative. 

In  1886  Mrs.  D.  S.  Penfield  gave  impetus  to 
the  movement  by  a  gift  of  a  lot  on  East  State 
street  as  a  site.  In  October  of  the  same  year  the 
State  Y.  M.  C.  A.  convention  was  held  here,  the 
sessions  being  held  in  the  Second  Congregational 
church.  This  created  great  interest  in  the  build- 
ing movement. 

On  the  17th  of  October,  1886,  a  special  meet- 
ing of  a  few  leading  business  men  was  held  at  the 
residence  of  the  late  W.  A.  Talcott  on  North 
Main  street,  at  which  $5,000  was  pledged  toward 
the  building  fund.  Henry  W.  Price  and  Mr. 
Talcott  each  pledged  $1,000  to  start  it.  They 
prepared  subscription  lists  and  launched  the  can- 
vass for  $25,000. 

The  fund  steadily  grew  until  in  the  autumn  of 
1888  the  association  appointed  a  building  com- 
mittee consisting  of  Prof.  P.  R.  Walker,  W.  H. 
Worthington,  P.  R.  Wood  and  H.  H.  Robinson, 
secured  plans  for  the  building  and  received  bids 
for  its  erection. 

The  corner-stone  was  laid  April  18,  1889.  The 
building  was  completed  near  the  close  of  1890  at 
a  total  expense  of  $42,000.  The  building  con- 
tained adequate  reception  rooms,  parlors,  game 
rooms,  gymnasium,  offices,  dining  room  and 
kitchen,  social  rooms,  baths,  auditorium  and 
sleeping  apartments. 

The  first  meeting  in  the  new  building  was  held 
by  the  board  of  directors  December  30,  1889.  E. 
M.  Aiken  was  the  first  general  secretary  after  the 
new  building  was  occupied.     B.   F.    Pierce  and 

E.  E.  Lockwood  were  general  secretaries  and  S. 

F.  Weyburn  and  Prof.  P.  R.  Walker  were  presi- 
dents during  the  building  period. 

Ever  since  the  erection  of  the  building  an  all- 
10 


around  work  similar  to  that  now  carried  on  has 
been  maintained. 

The  following  men  have  been  presidents  of  the 
association  during  its  history:  E.  P.  Thomas, 
H.  S.  Tupper,  G.  D.  Smith,  O.  R.  Brouse,  L.  A. 
Trowbridge,  W.  H.  Worthington,  C.  H.  C.  Bur- 
lingame,  S.  F.  Weyburn,  P.  R.  Walker,  H.  H. 
Robinson,  William  Pond,  F.  S.  Regan  and  L.  L. 
Morrison,  Judge  Morrison  having  been  president 
since  1896. 

The  general  secretaries  have  been :  J.  G.  John- 
son, 1879  to  1881  ;  George  S.  Avery,  1881  to 
1883;  B.  F.  True,  1883  to  1885;  B.  F.  Pierce, 
1885  to  1889;  E.  E.  Lockwood,  1889  to  1890; 
E.  M.  Aiken,  1890  to  1894 ;  J.  P.  Bailey,  1894  to 
1895 ;  T.  H.  Hansen,  1896  to  1898 ;  E.  L.  Tuck- 
er, 1898  to  1900;  A.  W.  Beckner,  1900  to  date. 

The  association  has  had  two  important  be- 
quests ;  one  of  $10,000  from  Judge  Benjamin  R. 
Sheldon,  and  $500  from  Giles  R.  Goss. 

Educationally,  there  are  many  features.  The 
reading  room,  supplied  with  the  best  magazines, 
is  in  constant  use.  Two  series  of  practical  talks 
are  maintained  on  Monday  and  Friday  nights, 
the  speakers  being  mostly  local  business  and  pro- 
fessional men.  A  night  school  is  conducted,  with 
an  enrollment  of  150  students;  special  classes  in 
English  for  Swedes  are  very  popular.  Classes 
in  chemistry,  mechanical  drawing,  penmanship, 
arithmetic  and  other  common  branches  are  con- 
ducted. The  Star  Course  has  been  a  feature  of 
the  association  during  the  past  ten  years.  Many 
notable  lecturers  and  musicians  have  been 
brought  to  the  city  by  it,  including  such  men  and 
women  as  Gen.  Lew  Wallace,  T.  DeWitt  Tal- 
mage,  B.  K.  Bruce,  Sam  Jones,  Lieut.  Schwatka, 
Jahu  DeWitt  Miller,  Hedley,  Dr.  Henson,  George 
Kennan,  R.  H.  Conwell,  Jacob  A.  Riis,  Katherine 
Ridgeway,  Thomas  Dixon.  Jr. ;  Frank  Dixon, 
Bob  Taylor,  Senator  Dolliver,  Landis,  Chicago 
SxTTiphony  Orchestra,  Brook's  Band,  Temple 
Quartet,  Leland  T.  Powers,  Mockridge,  Banda 
Rossa,  George  Hamlin,  Ernest  Gamble,  Benfey, 
Susanne  Adams  and  Campanari. 

The  gymnasium  was  started  in  1885  in  the  old 
Ashton  block.  When  the  present  building  was 
erected  the  plans  included  an  additional  gymna- 
sium building.  In  1891  a  number  of  prominent 
business  men  in  close  touch  with  the  association 
formed  a  syndicate  and  purchased  the  property 
adjoining  on  the  north  to  carry  out  the  original 
purpose.  But  when  the  hard  times  came  the 
property  was  lost,  the  men  themselves  losing  the 
amounts  invested  and  the  association  the  needed 
site  for  such  a  building. 

YOUNG    women's    CHRISTIAN    ASSOCIATION. 

In  the  spring  of  1876  at  the  close  of  a  revival 
meeting,   a  prayer  circle  of  young  women  was 


146 


I'AST     AXIJ     l'RESi:.\r 


WIX.XliUAGU     CDIXIA' 


foriiK'il.  coniposctl  of  those  from  the  various  Eiist 
Side  chiirclics.  Tliis  circle  met  in  the  W'estniiii- 
ster  cliitrch  i)arlor  the  hour  hefore  tlie  Sunday 
evening;  service,  which  proved  a  great  blessing  to 
those  alteniling. 

In  December.  1877.  they  decided  to  organize 
for  better  and  wider  work,  but  with  no  thought 
of  taking  up  tlie  usual  work  of  a  V.  \V.  C  A. 
A  constitution  was  a<lopted.  officers  elected  aiitl 
thirty-six  gave  their  names  as  charter  members. 

.Miss  lilla  1".  Brainard  was  elected  president. 
Miss  Helen  Pcnfield  (now  Mrs.  Revell)  record- 
ing .secretary.  Meetings  were  held  in  Westmins- 
ter ]iarlors.  the  sick  were  visited,  cottage  prayer 
meetings  held,  many  ])oor  families  were  assisted 
and  the  young  women  hcli)ed  the  Y.  M.  C.  A.  on 
social  occasions. 

In  June,  1880.  it  was  decided  to  disband  be- 
cause .so  many  young  people's  societies  had  been 
organized  in  the  different  churches.  The  young 
women  on  the  East  Side  had  been  drawn  closely 
together,  and  led  to  feel  the  need  of  work  among 
the  young  women  of  the  city,  and  had  been 
trained  for  religious  work  by  this  first  Y.  W.  C. 
A.  so  that  eleven  years  later  many  of  them  be- 
came charter  members  an<l  are  still  f.iithtul  wurk- 
ers  in  the  present  association. 

In  May.  1891.  Miss  Mary  McElroy,  .state  sec- 
retary for  Illinois,  came  to  Rockford  and  after 
conference  with  prominent  ladies  the  present 
Viiung  Women's  Christian  .\ssociation  was 
organized  in  the  parlors  of  the  Second  Congrega- 
tional church.  May  28.  Mrs.  .\nna  Williams  was 
elected  president:  Mrs.  C.  R.  Wise,  vice-presi- 
dent ;  Miss  Kate  Rising,  recording  secretary ; 
Miss  Ida  .Mien,  treasurer.  Mrs.  Williams  served 
only  a  sho'^t  term  and  was  succeeded  by  Mrs. 
W.  I,.  i*)atoii,  and  Mrs.  Selwyn  Clark  was  elected 
to  take  the  place  of  Mrs.  C.  R.  Wise.  The  board 
of  directors  was  as  follows:  Mrs.  V..  M.  Revell. 
Mrs.  S.  L.  Kennedv.  Mrs.  M.  S.  Parmele.  Mrs. 
S.  X.  Jones,  Miss  Mary  Shcrratt,  Mrs.  C.  H.  C. 
Burlingame,  Mrs.  Frank  lirown.  .Mrs.  Charles 
Herrick.  Mrs.  Oscar  Hall.  Mrs.  M.  L.  Baird. 
Mrs.  .\rthur  Berridge.  Following  Mrs.  Eaton. 
Mrs.  S.  L.  Kennedy,  Mrs.  E.  L.  Herrick,  Mrs. 
Harriett  I'easc  and  Mrs.  G.  R-  N'anhorne  have 
served  as  ])resident.  Mrs.  E.  S.  Cregory  is  serv- 
ing in  that  office  at  jiresent. 

Miss  Caroline  Griffith  was  the  first  general  sec- 
retary. She  was  here  only  one  year.  Then  Miss 
May  McGranahan  came  for  a  year.  In  January. 
1894.  Miss  Gratia  X'orton  was  a.sked  to  take  the 
position  until  a  ])ermanent  .secretary  could  be  se- 
cured. In  Jinie,  i')C>^.  she  was  called  to  the  sec- 
retaryshi])  and  has  remained.  Miss  Mildred 
(ircaves  was  until  recently  associated  with  her  in 
the  work. 

The  present  property  of  the  association  was 
rented  and  furnished  and  later  on,  in  June,  1892, 


was  purcha.sed  for  S5.500.  .^  large  part  of  the 
money  was  raised  by  a  soliciting  committee  that 
year  by  great  eft'ort.  In  1899  another  ett'ort  was 
put  forth  and  the  final  payment  on  the  building 
was  made. 

.\t  the  l)eginning  of  the  work  a  noon  lunch 
was  started  ;  also  an  employment  bureau,  evening 
classes,  a  go.spel  service  on  Sunday  afternoon 
and  a  boarcling  department.  These  lines  of  work 
are  still  carried  on. 

l-or  three  years  an  assistant  secretary  has  been 
employed  and  the  work  has  been  enlarged.  Reg- 
ular work  has  been  carried  on  during  the  noon 
hour  in  the  Nelson  knitting  mills,  the  Ziock  box 
factory,  the  Union  Overall  Company  and  visita- 
tion in  other  factories.  .Many  girls  have  been 
l)rought  into  the  association  from  this  work  dur- 
ing the  noon  hour. 

The  as.sociation  will  dedicate  a  building  in  De- 
cember. 1905.  at  a  cost  of  $18,000,  free  of 
debt. 

MUSKAI,   fl.UnS  .\ND  .ML'SKI.\NS  OF  ROCKFORD. 

The  nuisical  life  of  Rockford  is  so  interwoven 
in  its  liistory,  even  from  its  earliest  days,  that  one 
woidd  be  incomplete  without   the  other. 

The  grandfathers  tell  of  the  singing  .schools  of 
the  early  days  when  a  tiny  village  marked  the 
place  where  a  city  now  flourishes,  and  one  of  the 
old  singing  masters.  David  Merrill,  who  taught 
singing  school  here  in  1841,  is  still  living.  Mr. 
Merrill  is  ninety-three  years  old  and  resides  in 
the  neighboring  town  of  Cherry  \'alley. 

.\  program  nearly  a  half-hundred  years  old  ad- 
vertises in  glowing  terms  the  '"fourth  grand  en- 
tertainment" of  the  Rockford  Musical  Associa- 
tion, at  Concert  hall,  March  26,  1857.  The  pro- 
gram itself  contains  scarcely  a  number  familiar 
to  the  ])resent-day  concert-goer,  and  among  the 
many  ])articiiiants  not  more  than  two  or  three 
names  are  known  to  the  present  generation. 

.■\bout  this  time  there  came  to  Rockford  from 
the  East  a  }oung  man,  who  was  soon  recognized 
as  the  leader  of  all  musical  affairs.  This  young 
man  was  Daniel  X.  Hood.  For  thirty-seven 
years  he  was  actively  identified  with  the  musical 
interests  of  the  city,  and  to  him  perhaps  more 
than  to  any  other  one  person  belongs  the  credit 
of  the  city's  grreat  musical  growth.  A  musician 
of  high  ideals.  Prof.  Hood  would  tolerate  noth- 
ing but  the  best  in  the  art  to  which  he  has  de- 
voted a  lifetime,  and  patiently  but  persistently 
labored  to  elevate  the  musical  taste  <if  the  com- 
munity. 

.A  .series  of  musical  festivals  were  given  in  the 
early  '60s  and  '"Ps.  first  under  the  direction  of 
Prof.  J.  V.  Farg'o  and  later  imder  Prof.  Hood, 
lasting  two  or  three  days  and  overshadowing  all 
other  events  of  those  times. 

In  1858-59  Prof.  Hood  assumed  charge  of  the 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


147 


^lusical  Corservatory  of  Rockford  College,  then 
known  as  the  Rockford  Female  Seminary.  Many 
prominent  musicians  to-day  owe  their  success  to 
the  early  triining  received  from  Prof.  Hood  at 
Rockford  College.  For  thirty-seven  years  he  was 
identified  with  the  college,  part  of  the  time  teach- 
ing both  vocal  and  instrumental,  and  for  sixteen 
years  of  this  time  also  held  the  position  of  organ- 
ist in  the  Second  Presb}'terian  church  of  Chicago, 
then  the  wealthiest  church  in  that  city.  He  was 
later  identified  with  the  First  and  Second  Congre- 
gational churches  in  Rockford  as  organist  and 
choir  director  for  many  years,  and  at  present  he  is 
organist  of  a  Congregational  church  in  W'oburn, 
Mass.,  the  largest  church  in  New  England  out- 
side of  Boston. 

Eleven  years  ago  Prof.  Hood  left  Rockford  to 
spend  the  rest  of  his  days  in  the  East,  and  with 
his  going  the  city  lost  one  of  its  most  talented 
musicians,  whose  life  has  made  a  lasting  impress 
in  its  history. 

L.  B.  Starkweather,  who  came  to  Rockford  in 
1863  and  organized  the  Harmonic  Societv,  was 
the  first  vocal  teacher  in  the  town  who  had  fitted 
himself  for  that  profession,  and  for  many  years 
he  taught  both  voice  and  piano.  He  was  an 
organist  in  the  First  Congregational  church, 
whose  organ  was  dedicated  by  Dudley  Ikick.  Air. 
Starkweather  also  successfully  condticted  several 
musical  festivals  in  Rockford  and  other  towns. 

In  1884  Prof.  L.  A.  Torrens  came  to  Rock- 
ford to  become  director  of  the  Rockford  Choral 
I'nion,  a  society  with  which  nearly  all  the  musi- 
cians of  the  city  were  identified. 

Some  noteworthy  concerts  were  given,  among 
the  number  being  the  historical  choral  concert, 
held  in  the  First  Lutheran  Church,  and  partici- 
pated in  by  Rockford,  Freeport  and  Janesville 
choruses :  "The  Messiah,''  given  with  the  Chicago 
Orchestra  and  soloists  from  Chicago  and  Rock- 
ford ;  two  performances  of  Haydn's  "Creation," 
given  with  the  Chicago  Orchestra,  a  chorus  of 
350  voices ;  and  three  performances  of  Haydn's 
"Seasons,"  with  Bach's  Orchestra,  of  Milwatikee, 
The  last-named  concerts  were  the  first  events  ever 
held  in  Court  Street  church. 

Prof.  Torrens  returned  to  Rockford  about  six 
years  ago  and  organized  a  choral  society,  which 
has  sponsored  a  number  of  fine  musical  events, 
including  two  annual  festivals  that  brotight  to  the 
city  such  well-known  artists  as  Herbert  Wither- 
spoon,  Alme.  Charlotte  Alaconda,  Genevieve 
Clark  Wilson,  Jeanette  Durno-Collins,  Glenn 
Hall,  Herbert  Butler,  Theodore  Spiering.  George 
Hamlin,  Dan  T.  Boddoe  and  a  number  of  others. 

To  Prof.  Torrens  is  due  great  credit  for  under- 
taking to  give  to  Rockford  an  annual  musical  fes- 
tival of  such  worth  and  so  deserving  of  the  city's 
support.  Prof.  Torrens  has  for  many  years  suc- 
cessfully conducted  large  choral  societies  in  vari- 


ous parts  of  the  country,  aside  from  his  teaching 
and  has  long  been  prominent  in  musical  affairs. 

Far  and  near  Rockford  is  known  as  a  city  of 
musical  clubs,  and  more  than  a  dozen  organiza- 
tions of  a  distinctly  musical  character  are  in  exist- 
ence at  the  present  time. 

At  the  head  of  these  stands  the  Alendelssohn 
Club,  which  is  recognized  from  Maine  to  Califor- 
nia as  one  of  the  strongest  musical  clubs  in  the 
country. 

Twenty-one  years  ago  last  October  a  small 
company  of  ladies  met  at  the  home  of  Mrs, 
Chandler  Starr  and  formed  a  little  club,  the  ob- 
ject of  which  was  "the  permanent  establishment 
of  an  organization  for  the  musical  culture  of  the 
members  and  the  uplifting  of  the  standard  of 
music  in  the  cit}-  of  Rockford."  Mendelssohn 
was  chosen  as  their  patron  saint. 

The  club  now  has  a  number  of  departments, 
including  active,  passive,  honorary,  associate  and 
student  members,  and  an  auxiliary  chorus  of 
sixty  ladies,  under  the  direction  of  Harrison  M, 
^^"ild.  of  Chicago. 

There  are  between  thirty-five  and  forty  active 
members,  who  are  responsible  for  the  regular 
concerts  given  every  other  Thursday.  Almost 
without  exception  these  musicians  are  constantly 
studying,  and  each  year  finds  a  number  in  the 
great  art  centers  of  the  world,  gaining  new  ideas 
and  fresh  inspiration  for  future  club  work.  At 
jjresent  the  club  has  representatives  in  Paris,  Ber- 
lin, Dresden  and  New  York,  while  a  number 
make  weekly  trips  to  Chicago  for  instruction  un- 
der the  best  teachers  there. 

Each  season  a  number  of  artists'  recitals  are 
given  under  the  auspices  of  the  club,  and  some  of 
the  best  artists  in  the  country  have  been  brought 
here.  Among  the  number  that  may  be  mentioned 
are  Afme.  Fannie  Bloomfield-Zeisler.  Alme.  Car- 
reno,  Mme.  Schumann-Heink,  the  Alendelssohn 
Quintet  Club.  David  Bispham,  leannette  Durno- 
Collins,  Alme.  Blauvelt.  E.  A.  AlacDowell  and 
many  others. 

Last  year  the  famous  Pittsburg  Orchestra,  un- 
der the  direction  of  Emil  Paur,  was  one  of  the 
attractions. 

The  present  officers  of  the  club  are :  President, 
Mrs.  Chandler  Starr :  vice-president,  Airs,  Fred 
H.  Motfatt ;  recording  secretary,  Mrs.  O.  R. 
Brouse :  corresponding  secretary.  Miss  Ethel  L. 
Van  Wie ;  treasurer.  Airs.  T.  Y.  Engstrom. 

Following  the  example  of  the  Alendelssohn 
Club,  a  score  of  young  girls  organized  the  St. 
Cecilia  Club  fourteen  years  ago.  For  several  sea- 
sons the  club  met  at  the  homes  of  the  members, 
but,  like  the  mother  club,  soon  outgrew  the  small 
quarters  and  rented  a  hall  for  its  regular  meet- 
ings. 

As  the  members  of  the  St.  Cecilia  Club  grew 
older  several  of  the  younger  girls  formed  another 


148 


PAST    AND    PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


club  at  the  home  of  their  teacher,  Mrs.  John 
Oberg.  This  chili  was  named  the  Schumann,  and 
with  Mrs.  Oberg  for  a  guide,  worked  with  a  will 
to  accomplish  creditable  results. 

The  Liebling  Club  is  another  of  the  younger 
clubs  that  is  well  known,  and  that  has  sponsored 
many  pretty  concerts.  The  club  was  named  for 
Emii  Liebling.  of  Chicago,  and  this  popular  pian- 
ist has  taken  a  personal  interest  in  the  club's  wel- 
fare, making  visits  to  Rockford  to  hear  and  par- 
ticipate in  the  annual  concerts. 

Rockford  has  hail  its  share  of  nnisical  celebri- 
ties and  several  who  call  this  city  "home"  have 
won  fame  on  two  continents.  Mrs.  Katharine 
Tanner  Eisk,  the  celebrated  contralto,  is  a  gradu- 
ate of  Rockford  College,  and  pays  frequent  visits 
to  this  city,  where  her  mother  resided  until  her 
death  in  October.  u>05.  Wilhclm  lleinrich.  the 
noted  blind  tenor,  who  makes  his  home  in  I'.os- 
ton,  is  another  artist  whom  we  are  proud  to  own, 
and  whose  mother  still  lives  here. 

No  young  woman  pianist  has  won  more  fame 
than  Jeanetle  Uurno-Collins,  who  is  known  in 
this  country  and  liurope  as  a  wonderfully  gifted 
musician.  Frank  C.  La  Forge,  who  at  the  pres- 
ent time  is  in  lierlin,  is  fast  gaining  recognition 
as  a  young  pianist  and  composer,  who  will  be 
famous  in  this  country  and  Europe  before  many 
years.  Howard  Wells,  now  of  Chicago,  is  also 
known  as  a  pianist  of  undoubted  talent. 

Two  Rockford  ladies  are  filling  important 
choir  positions  in  Xew  York  City.  Miss  Alice 
Sovereign's  beautiful  contralto  voice  is  popular  in 
the  great  metropolis,  and  Mrs.  Corinne  Ryder 
Kelsey  filled  fine  engagements  last  season  in  the 
East,  including  two  appearances  with  Walter 
Damrosch  in  Wagnerian  lectures.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
George  Nelson  Holt,  both  well-known  musicians, 
are  at  present  studying  in  Paris. 

For  half  a  century  the  musical  conservatory  of 
Rockford  College  has  played  an  important  part 
in  the  musical  life  of  the  city,  and  among  the 
graduates  each  year  are  young  women  from  all 
parts  of  the  country. 

Under  Prof.  Hood  the  conservatory  gained  a 
wide  reputation  that  has  strengthened  with  the 
years.  Prof.  Hood  was  the  head  of  the  depart- 
ment from  1858  until  1895,  '''"^1  ^^■^■''  succeeded  by 
Mrs.  George  Nelson  Holt,  who  was  connected 
with  the  piano  department  for  seven  years.  Mrs. 
Helen  Saljin  Brown  and  Howard  Wells  and  Jose- 
phine Phinncy  also  taught  in  this  department. 

( )ne  of  the  poptdar  vocal  teachers  connected 
with  the  college  was  Mrs.  Addie  St.  John  Far- 
num,  who  was  at  the  head  of  the  dejiartment  for 
seven  vears  and  was  at  that  time  a  favorite  so- 
prano here.  Frank  T.  Baird.  of  Chicago,  taught 
the  vocal  classes  for  five  years  and  Miss  Caro- 
line Radecke  for  eight  years.  Miss  Radecke  was 
succeeded  by  Mrs.  Daisy  I'orce  Scott,  who  taught 
for  two  seasons.  At  the  present  time  the  piano 
<lepartment  is  in  charge  of  Miss  Emily  Parsons. 


.Among  the  male  quartets  that  have  traveled 
over  the  country  none  has  won  more  fame  than 
the  old  Weber  ([uartet,  of  Rockford,  which  was 
organized  in  18S6.  During  the  cam[)aign  of  1888 
the  quartet  was  a  prominent  feature  of  all  im- 
portant political  meetings,  and  the  fame  of  the 
young  men  spread  until  they  were  twice  called  to 
Washington  to  sing.  The  members  of  the  quar- 
tet at  this  time  were  .Myron  E.  Barnes,  Charles 
Rogers,  L.  J.  West  and  Henry  D.  Andrew,  and 
under  the  management  of  the  Slayton  Lyceum 
Bureau  they  toured  the  country  from  Washington 
to  California,  and  from  British  Columbia  to 
Texas,  winning  ovations  everywhere.  The  quar- 
tet was  in  existence  until  1891.  Others  identified 
with  the  quartet  were  I'"rank  .\ndrew  and  Frank 
D.  Emerson. 

.Since  the  days  of  the  civil  war  Rockford  has 
had  a  band  organization.  In  the  early  days  of 
the  war  the  old  Rockford  Band  accomijanied  the 
home  regiment  to  battle,  among  the  members  be- 
ing August  Dedrickson,  who  from  that  time  until 
his  death  a  few  years  ago  was  the  most  promi- 
nent figure  in  the  city's  bands  and  orchestras. 

In  1867  the  Forest  City  Banel  was  organized, 
with  Mr.  Dedrickson  as  leader,  and  for  thirty 
years  he  served  in  that  capacity.  He  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Frank  Fitzgerald,  when  the  name  of 
the  band  was  changed  to  Watch  Factory  Band, 
and  later  to  Rockford  Military  Band,  under 
which  name  it  was  known  throughout  the  state. 

After  four  years  Mr.  Fitzgerald  was  succeeded 
by  E.  F.  Blakeley,  under  whose  efficient  leader- 
ship the  band  has  continued  until  to-day.  In  the 
year  1903  the  name  of  tlie  band  was  changed  to 
the  Schumann  Military. 

.Albert  Barker  and  .Allen  Crandall  were  charter 
members  of  the  band  and  have  been  connected 
with  the  organization  during  its  entire  existence. 
The  late  Marcus  C.  Thayer,  who  for  many  years 
had  an  active  ]iart  in  local  musical  affairs,  was 
also  a  charter  member. 

Dedrickson's  Orchestra,  later  known  as  the 
Opera  House  Orchestra,  was  an  outgrowth  of  the 
Forest  City  Band,  and  for  thirty  years  prospered 
under  the  leadership  of  August  Dedrickson. 

Ten  years  ago.  to  supply  the  demand  for  a 
dance  orchestra,  the  Benedict  Orchestra  was  or- 
ganized b\-  .Albert  Barker.  This  orchestra,  under 
tlie  leadcrshi])  of  Mr.  Dedrickson,  sprang  into 
instant  favor  and  since  that  time  has  held  first 
place  among  similar  organizations  of  the  city. 
Mr.  Barker  is  still  manager  and  Mr.  George 
Gieske  is  the  present  leader. 

The  HaddorfF  Band,  though  comparatively 
new,  is  doing  excellent  work  and  gaining  an  envi- 
able reputation. 

A  band  known  as  Camp  51  Band,  M.  W.  .A., 
is  an  outgrowth  of  the  old  S.  M.  and  S.  F.  Band. 

.Among  other  local  orchestras  are  the  Metro- 
pole,  now  known  as  Collin's  Orchestra;  the  Ep- 
worth  and  Rockford  orchestras. 


^^L^M)    ?y  /^^^  (u^cj  £^  ^ 


Biographical 


GOODYEAR  ASA   SANFORD. 

Among  the  men  of  the  past  and  present  who 
have  contributed  to  the  progress  and  develop- 
ment of  Rockford  and  Winnebago  county,  Good- 
year Asa  Sanford  was  prominent.  He  left  the 
impress  of  his  individuality  upon  the  public  life 
of  the  citv  and  his  labors  promoted  its  material, 
intellectual  and  moral  development.  He  won 
the  success  that  comes  from  consecutive  and 
well  directed  effort,  and  at  the  same  time  his 
methods  were  so  honorable,  his  principles  so 
elevating,  that  even  the  most  malevolent  had 
naught  to  say  against  his  career.  Such  a  life 
history  is  indeed  well  worthy  of  emulation  and 
should  serve  as  an  example  to  the  young  and  an 
inspiration  to  the  aged.  Mr.  Sanford  was  a  na- 
tive of  Hamden.  Connecticut,  born  August  28, 
1814.  The  ancestry  of  the  family  can  be  traced 
back  to  Thomas  Sanford,  of  Gloucestershire. 
England,  who  came  to  this  country  with  the 
John  Winthrop  colony  in  the  period  from  1631 
to  1633.  He  was  one  of  the  four  appointed  to 
"make  diligent  search"  for  Colonels  Whaley  and 
Goft'e  and  like  a  true  patriot,  "declares  and  testi- 
fies" that  he  failed  to  find  them.  The  family 
history,  however,  is  obtainable  even  at  a  more 
remote  period.  Sanford  Manor  in  England  is 
one  of  the  few  Shropshire  estates  which  can  be 
said  to  be  held  by  the  lineal  descendants  of  its 
earliest  feofi'ee.  Thomas  de  Sanford.  a  Norman 
follower  of  William  the  Conqueror,  is  mentioned 
on  the  roll  of  battle  Abbey,  having  been  one  of 
the  Norman  followers  of  William,  duke  of  Nor- 
mandy, by  whom  he  was  knighted  for  bravery 
at  the  battle  of  Hastings.  His  son,  Sir  Thomas 
de  Sanford.  held  under  King  Henry  I  the  manor 
of  Sanford  and  Rothal  and  the  former  is  still 
in  possession  of  his  descendants.  The  origin  of 
the  name  is  quite  evident — sand>-  ford — but  in 
many  branches  of  the  name  the  first  letter  "d" 
is  omitted. 


Thomas  Sanford,  son  of  Anthony  and  Jane 
Sanford,  of  Stowe,  county  Gloucester,  England, 
came  to  Boston  with  the  John  Winthrop  colony. 
We  find  record  of  him  in  Dorchester,  Massa- 
chusetts, where  with  others  he  received  land  in 
1634  and  also  in  1635.  He  became  a  freeman 
of  the  colony,  March  9,  1637,  and  in  1639  re- 
moved with  a  colony  from  Dorchester  and  Wa- 
tertown  to  Connecticut,  settling  in  Milford, 
where  his  name  appears  in  the  earliest  records. 
He  was  the  leader  in  organizing  the  town,  and 
was  intimately  associated  with  Governor  Treat, 
Leete,  Buckingham,  Law  and  other  leading  men 
of  the  times. 

Stephen  Sanford.  grandfather  of  G.  A.  San- 
ford, of  Rockford,  was  born  at  Milford,  Connec- 
ticut, August  13,  1740,  and  died  on  the  fifty-fifth 
anniversary  of  his  birth.  He  was  married  while 
living  at  Woodbridge,  Connecticut,  to  Sybil 
\Miite,  who  was  probabl)-  born  at  New  Haven, 
her  natal  day  being  October  15,  1745,  while  her 
death  occurred  December  5,  1808.  She  was  a 
daughter  of  Deacon  John  White,  and  a  grand- 
daughter of  Captain  John  and  Mary  (Dicker- 
man)  \Miite.  and  a  great-granddaughter  of 
Isaac  and  ]\Iary  (Atwater)  Dickerman.  Her 
father  settled  on  a  farm  in  Woodbridge.  Con- 
necticut, but  afterward  removed  to  New  Haven, 
where  he  died  November  24.  1797,  at  the  age  of 
seventy-five  years.  He  wedded  Mary  Dicker- 
man,  of  New  Haven,  December  27,  1744.  Sallie 
^^'hite  was  a  daughter  of  Lieutenant  John 
White,  a  son  of  Deacon  John  and  Mary  (Dick- 
erman) White.  Lieutenant  John  White  was 
married  May  25,  1778,  to  Anna  Bostwick,  of 
Derby,  and  their  daughter  Sallie  was  born  April 
5,  1785.  She  married  David  Sanford,  of  Bethany, 
her  death  occurring  in  February,  1836,  at  the 
age  of  fifty  years. 

Unto  Stephen  and  Sybil  (White)  Sanford 
were  born  nine  children :  Esther,  who  was  born 
February  4,  1768,  and  died  May  21,  1768;  Es- 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


tlicr,  llie  second  of  the  name,  who  was  born  July 
26.  i/i*).  and  married  Jared  Sperry ;  Rachel, 
who  was  born  necembcr  1.  1771.  and  married 
Zeri  Downes:  llnlda.  who  was  born  May  17. 
1774,  and  died  July  1.  1794:  F.lisha.  who  was 
born  July  i.  1776.  and  married  Marijaret  ToUes ; 
Stephen  Elisha.  who  was  born  March  30,  1779: 
Sybil.  wh(j  was  born  July  2y.  17S2.  and  married 
a  Mr.  S]ierry :  .\mos  Wliite.  who  was  born  De- 
cember 20.  1785.  and  married  Obedience  .\t- 
water ;  and  Lucretia.  who  was  born  October  27. 
1789.  and  became  Mrs.  ISeecher.  After  losing 
her  first  husband  Sybil  White  Sanford  married 
Deacon  .\sa  (ioodyear.  of  Ilamden.  Connecticut. 
The  will  of  Stephen  Sanford  is  still  in  exist- 
ence and  reads  as  follows:  "In  the  name  of  Clod. 
Amen:  I,  Stephen  Sanford.  of  .\ew  Haven 
county,  and  state  of  Connecticut,  in  New  En.ij- 
land.  beintj  weak  in  body  but  of  .sound  mind 
and  memory,  thanks  be  to  God  therefor ;  do  make 
this  my  last  will  and  testament  in  manner  and 
form  followiuij,  namely:  Principally  and  first 
of  all.  1  sii^'"^  a'l'l  recommend  my  soul  to  (iod 
that  save  it.  and  my  body  to  the  earth  in  a  decent 
and  Christian  burial  at  the  discretion  of  my  ex- 
ecutor hereafter  mentioned,  in  hopes  of  a  glo- 
rious resurrection  through  Jesus  Christ  my  Lord, 
and  the  worldly  estate  which  (iod  hath  been 
pleased  to  bless  me  withal  after  my  ju.st  debts 
and  funeral  charges,  and  charge  of  executing  this 
my  will  are  duly  paid  and  satisfied.  I  dispose  of 
in  the  following  manner,  namely :  Item — To  my 
dear  and  loving  wife,  Esther  Sanford.  I  give 
and  bef|ueath  all  my  movable  estate  whatsoever, 
excepting  the  legacies  hereafter  in  this  my  will 
mentioned,  and  to  her,  her  heirs  and  assigns  for- 
ever. I  also  give  to  my  said  wife  the  use  and 
improvements  of  all  my  real  estate  for  the  space 
of  one  year  after  my  decease.  I  also  give  her 
during  her  natural  life  the  use  and  im])rovement 
of  the  real  estate  hereafter  mentioned,  two-thirds 
of  my  new  house  and  barn  and  all  my  old  house. 
all  standing  on  my  homestead,  also  two-thirds  of 
all  my  land  adjoining  my  house,  and  two-thirds 
of  all  my  lands  in  the  Fort  (fast?)  Rock,  so 
called ;  also  all  my  lands  called  Grindum  farm 
and  the  barn  standing  thereon  ;  also  two  lots  of 
land  lying  at  the  southeast  corner  of  a  lot  called 
Sherman  lot,  by  estimation  about  seven  acres 
as  the  fence  now  stands.  Item — I  also  give  to 
the  society  of  Amety  in  the  town  of  New  Haven, 
for  tlie  support  of  a  Presbyterian  or  Congrega- 
tional minister  in  said  society,  he  being  a  friend 
to  this  and  the  L'nited  States  of  .America,  after 
my  wife's  estate  therein  shall  be  ended,  the  Car- 
ington  lot  .so  called,  containing  about  tweiitv- 
three  acres.  I  also  give  to  the  church  of  Christ 
in  said  society  a  silver  christening  basin  of  the 
size  of  that  in  the  church  in  White   Haven  so- 


cietv,  to  be  procured  and  ]}urchascd  by  my  execu- 
tor hereafter  mentioned  within  one  year  alter  my 
decease,  and  delivered  to  said  church.  I  also 
give  to  said  society  eighty  pounds  lawful  money 
to  be  paid  by  my  e.xecutor,  ten  pounds  yearly 
until  the  whole  of  said  sum  be  paid.  I  also 
give  and  bequeath  to  Charles  Sanford,  who  now 
lives  with  me,  my  new  house  and  barn  stand- 
ing on  my  homestead  and  all  my  lands  adjoining 
to  my  house  and  all  my  lands  lying  in  the  Fort 
Rocks,  so  called,  and  one  acre  and  a  i|uarter  of 
Salt  Meadow,  he  not  disturbing  my  said  wife, 
Esther,  in  her  improvements  as  before  mentioned, 
to  be  to  him,  the  said  Charles  and  to  his  heirs  on 
the  following  conditions,  namely :  That  he.  the 
said  Charles,  shall  find  au<l  provide  my  said  wife 
with  fire  wood,  cut  fit  for  the  fire,  as  long  as  she 
lives,  and  also  shall  take  care  of  my  said  wife's 
stock  summer  and  winter  and  keep  her  fences 
in  good  repair ;  but  if  said  Charles  shall  fail  to 
perform  said  conditions,  then  my  will  is  that  said 
real  estate  given  to  him  above  shall  go,  and  I 
hereby  give  it  to  said  society  of  Amety  to  sup- 
port a  minister  as  aforesaid.  My  will  further  is 
that  if  said  Charles  shall  die.  leaving  no  issue  of 
his  body  lawfully  begotten,  the  said  real  estate 
given  to  him  as  above  shall  go  to  the  said  society 
of  Amety  for  their  use  aforesaid.  My  will  also 
is  that  said  Charles  shall  bring  no  family  into  my 
house  during  the  lifetime  of  my  said  wife  but 
his  own.  I  also  give  to  said  Charles  Sanford  my 
year  mare.  Item — To  Stephen  Sanford,  Jr..  of 
Bethany,  my  nephew.  I  give  and  bequeath  the 
use  and  improvements  of  the  following  pieces  of 
land  after  my  wife's  term  and  estate  therein  shall 
be  ended,  namely :  .\11  my  land  1\  ing  at  a  ])lace 
called  Grindum.  exce])ting  thirty  acres  on  the 
south  of  saiil  land,  said  thirty  acres  to  be  fifteen 
rods  wider  on  the  east  line  than  on  the  west, 
and  the  barn  standing  thereon,  also  all  mv  land 
called  .Sherman  lot.  My  will  furthei  is  tiiat  av 
the  death  of  said  Ste]>hen.  said  two  pieces  of 
land  shall  go.  and  I  do  give  it  to  his  eldest  male 
heir  and  to  his  heirs  forever:  but  it  the 
said  Stephen  shall  leave  no  male  iieir. 
then  to  his  female  heirs  equally  and  their 
heirs  forever.  Item — To  Zadock  Sanford,  of 
llelhany,  I  give  and  l)e(|ueath  all  my 
right  called  mine  lot.  lying  at  a  place  called 
Mad  Mars  I  lill,  to  him  and  his  heirs  forever,  he 
not  disturbing  my  said  wife's  im])rovements  as 
before  expressed.  Item — To  my  negro  servant, 
Jesse,  I  give  and  bequeath  and  to  his  heirs  and 
assigns  forever,  thirty  acres  of  land  on  the  south 
side  of  the  (irindum  farm,  which  is  to  be  fifteen 
rods  wider  on  the  east  line  than  on  the  west, 
after  my  wife's  term  and  estate  therein  shall  be 
ended,  and  I  do  hereby  manumit  my  said  servant, 
Tesse,  and  give  him  his  freedom  after  the  death 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


153 


of  my  said  wife.  I  also  give  him  liberty  to  live 
in  my  old  house  during  his  natural  life.  Item — 
Mv  will  further  is  that  my  Bradley  lot,  so  called, 
shall  be  sold  b_\'  my  executor  to  pay  my  just  debts 
and  legacies  and  charges  of  settling  my  estate, 
and  if  there  be  any  overplus  it  shall  go  to  my 
said  wife,  Esther,  and  to  her  heirs  and  assigns 
forever.  Item — I  give  to  Ebenezer  Sanford,  of 
Newton,  for  the  love  and  good  will  which  I  have 
to  him.  twent}'  pounds  lawful  money  Item — I 
give  and  bequeath  to  Hannah  Hainson,  Oliver 
Sanford,  Jonah  Sanford  and  Joseph  Sanford, 
children  and  heirs  of  my  brother,  Joseph  San- 
ford. late  of  Litchfield,  deceased ;  my  sister, 
Esther  Bristol,  and  Abagail  Pierson  and  to 
Joseph  Sanford,  Oliver  Sanford,  Aaron  Sanford, 
Elihu  Sanford  and  Eunice  Stoddard,  children 
and  heirs  of  my  brother,  David  Sanford,  late  of 
Milford,  deceased,  and  to  Isaac  Sanford,  to  each 
of  them  one  great  Bible,  to  be  purchased  by  my 
executor  within  one  year  after  my  decease,  or 
so  much  lawful  money  as  is  sufficient  to  purchase 
a  great  Bible  for  each  of  them.  Lastly  I  do 
hereby  nominate,  constitute  and  appoint  my  said 
wife,  Esther  Sanford  and  Deacon  Amos  Perkins, 
of  said  New  Haven,  executors  of  this  my  last 
will  and  testament,  and  my  will  is  that  Deacon 
Perkins  have  a  handsome  reward  for  his  trouble 
therein  in  confirmation  of  all  that  is  before  writ- 
ten, revoking  and  disannulling  all  former  wills 
and  testaments  by  me  made,  I  hereunto  set  my 
hand  and  seal  this  8th  day  of  January,  A.  D., 
1779,  signed,  sealed,  published,  pronounced  and 
delivered  by  the  said  Stephen  Sanford  as  and 
for  his  last  will  and  testament  in  presence  of 
us  witnesses  signing  in  his  presence  and  in  the 
presence  of  each  other. 

(Si£;ned)     STEPHEN  SANFORD   [Seal.| 

JOHN  HORTC^N, 

PFIINEAS  BRADLEY, 

DANIEL  PERKINS. 

;\.mos  White  Sanford.  son  of  Stephen  Sanford. 
was  born  in  Connecticut  and  throughout  his 
entire  life  followed  farming  in  that  state.  He 
married  (Jbedience  Atwater,  who  was  also  of 
English  lineage,  and  was  a  direct  descendant  of 
David  Atwater,  one  of  the  original  planters  of 
New  Haven,  Connecticut.  David  Atwater.  the 
English  ancestor,  was  also  a  follower  of  William 
the  Conqueror,  and  fought  with  distinction  in 
the  battle  of  Hastings.  Lioth  Mr.  and  ^Irs.  .San- 
ford died  at  Hamden.  Connecticut. 

G.  A.  Sanford  acquired  his  education  in  the 
public  schools  of  New  Haven  and  Hamden.  Con- 
necticut, and  was  reared  upon  his  father's  farm, 
early  becoming  familiar  with  the  duties  and  la- 
bors that  fall  to  the  lot  of  the  agriculturist,  but 
his  ambition  ior  a  business  career  led  in  another 


direction.  Believing  that  he  might  enjoy  bet- 
ter business  opportunities  in  the  west,  lie  came 
to  Illinois,  in  December,  1836,  making  his  way 
to  Alton,  and  the  following  year  came  to  Rock- 
ford  and  established  a  dry-goods  store  at  the 
southeast  corner  of  Main  and  State  streets.  He 
continued  in  business  there  for  several  years,  his 
patronage  steadily  increasing,  making  possible 
the  erection  of  a  large  building  in  order  to  have 
space  for  his  constantly  increasing  stock.  He 
conducted  that  business  for  some  time,  its 
growth  being  attributable  to  his  enterprising  ef- 
forts, earnest  desire  to  please  his  patrons  and 
his  conformity  to  a  high  standard  of  commercial 
ethics.  In  1838  he  was  appointed  deputy  sheriff 
and  served  in  that  capacity  for  four  years,  while 
in  1842  he  was  elected  sherifif  and  served  until 
1844.  While  acting  as  deputy  sheriff  he  rode 
on  horseback  over  the  country  to  a  great  extent, 
and  one  day  while  riding  north  of  the  river  sev- 
eral miles  above  the  town  he  looked  across  the 
stream  and  saw  a  dark  object  in  the  tree.  Ford- 
ing the  river,  he  climbed  the  tree  and  found  a 
canoe  containing  the  mummy  of  a  Pottawatomie 
squaw.  Unfortunately  no  effort  was  made  to 
preserve  this  mute  testimonial  of  the  wild  life 
that  preceded  white  settlement.  From  1838  until 
1844  he  collected  all  the  taxes  of  \\'innebago 
county.  No  public  trust  reposed  in  him  was 
ever  betrayed  in  the  slightest  degree,  for  he  was 
prompt  and  efficient  in  discharge  of  his  duties. 
]\Ir.  Sanford  was  one  of  the  organizers  and  trus- 
tees of  the  Rockford  Insurance  Company.  (Jne 
of  the  many  services  of  Mr.  Sanford  for  the 
city  of  Rockford  was  securing  the  postoffice  for 
Rockford.  A  town  had  been  started  on  the  low 
land  where  the  Kishwaukee  joins  Rock  river — 
supposedly  called  Kishwaukee — and  at  this  time 
it  was  proving  a  formidable  rival  to  Rockford.  in 
that  it  bade  fair  to  get  the  postoffice  instead  of 
Rockford.  Government  was  sending  out  an  agent 
to  make  decision  in  this  weighty  matter  and  he 
was  coming  to  Kishwaukee  instead  of  Rockford. 
It  was  in  the  early  spring  just  as  winter  was 
loosening  its  icv  grip.  With  a  horse  and  cutter, 
and  John  Piatt  as  a  companion,  Mr.  .Sanford 
started  for  the  settlement  at  the  north  of  the 
Kishwaukee,  but  for  some  reason  they  took  the 
road  down  the  west  side  of  the  river.  The  day 
was  warm  and  the  fears  of  the  two  men  were 
aroused  lest  the  ice  go  out  before  they  reach 
their  destination  and  leave  them  on  the  wrong 
side  of  the  river.  Sure  enough  with  a  prolonged 
cracking  the  river  began  to  break.  Putting  their 
horse  to  a  run  they  soon  covered  the  remaining 
distance,  and  while  one  hitched  the  horse  to  the 
fence  the  other  ripped  of¥  a  board,  and  with  this 
board  they  bridged  the  chasms  between  the  float- 
ing cakes  of  ice  that  were  too  wide  to  jumj)  and 


154 


PAST     AND    PRESENT    OF     WINNEBAGO    COUNTY. 


so  made  their  way  safely  to  Kislnvaiikce  and  the 
postoffice  commissioner.  Tlie  facts  and  logic 
won  the  day.  and  they  returned  to  Rockford 
with  a  hired  team  up  the  cast  side  of  the  river, 
with  the  postoffice  in  their  pockets  and  sent  a 
boy  down  to  brinjj  back  their  horse  and  cutter. 
Perhaps  nothing:  has  been  a  greater  factor  in  the 
prosperity  of  tlie  city  than  the  Water  Power 
Company,  which  was  organized  July  15.  1851, 
and  of  which  Mr.  Sanford  was  an  active  mem- 
ber. It  was  Mr.  Sanford's  help  that  made  it 
possible  for  Thomas  Rutterworth  to  successfully 
organize  and  carry  on  the  Rockford  Gas  Com- 
pany. 

In  1838  Mr.  Sanford  built  the  first  tlatboat 
at  this  place  and  loaded  it  with  potatoes  and 
merchandise  for  the  St.  Louis  market  and 
twenty-four  years  later  he  was  connected  with 
the  sending  of  the  first  carload  of  grain  that  was 
shipped  from  Cherry  \alley.  He  was  likewise 
interested  in  the  building  of  some  of  the  rail- 
roads, and  the  newspapers  of  that  day  give  ac- 
count of  his  co-operation  in  these  enterprises, 
showing  that  he  took  large  contracts  for  the  con- 
struction of  the  lines.  From  1844  until  1847  ^^e 
was  engaged  in  general  merchandising  at  the 
corner  of  State  and  Main  streets,  where  the  Sec- 
ond National  r)ank  was  afterward  located. 

It  was  during  the  early  days  of  his  residence 
in  Rockford  that  he  also  became  a  leading  factor 
in  financial  circles.  On  the  ist  of  January,  1855, 
the  banking  firm  of  Dickerman.  Wheeler  &  Com- 
pany was  organized  with  Mr.  Sanford  as  one  of 
its  members.  In  1856  the  firm  was  changed  to 
Lane,  Sanford  &  Company,  so  contimiing  until 
August  I.  1864.  when  the  business  was  reorgan- 
ized under  the  name  of  the  -Second  National 
Rank  of  Rockford.  Mr.  Sanford  at  that  time 
was  chosen  cashier,  and  soon  afterward  was 
elected  president,  acting  in  the  latter  ca|)acity  up 
to  the  time  of  his  death. 

Mr.  Sanford  was  three  times  married.  In 
February,  1837,  he  married  F.lizabcth  IT.  lias- 
sett,  who  was  born  in  the  state  of  New  York  in 
1813.  He  returned  east  for  his  bride,  and  on  the 
2d  of  .Xpril,  1838,  they  arrived  in  Rockford.  In 
1844  they  united  with  the  First  Congregational 
church,  and  were  very  active  in  its  work,  Mrs. 
Sanford  being  one  of  the  original  members  of  the 
Woman's  Foreign  Missionary  Society  formed  in 
the  First  church  in  1838.  She  was  one  of  the 
forty-seven  charter  members  of  the  Second 
church,  sang  in  the  choir  for  several  years  and 
tr«jk  a  most  active  and  hel])ful  i)art  in  the  church 
work  imtil  failing  health  prevented  lur  further 
co-f)|)eration  in  its  activities.  She  died  in  (  )c- 
tobcr,  1857.  They  had  one  son.  wlm  died  in 
infancy. 

In  1858  Mr.  Sanford  married  Harriet  .\ustin. 


of  Skaneateles,  New  York,  who  came  from  a 
New  York  family  of  sterling  worth.  She  was 
a  woman  of  rare  native  ability,  and  exercised  a 
wide  intUience  in  both  the  religious  and  the  so- 
cial life  of  Rockford.  She  was  one  of  the  most 
helpful  workers  in  the  Second  Congregational 
church  and  missionary  society.  She  founded 
the  Monday  Club,  the  oldest  literary  club  in 
Rockford.  and  was  most  hospitable  in  entertain- 
ing her  friends.  After  a  ])rolonge(l  and  ])aintul 
illness,  which  she  bore  with  great  Christian  forti- 
tude, she  died  in   1879. 

For  his  third  wife  Mr.  Sanford  chose  !Miss 
Clara  Goodall.  a  daughter  of  David  G.  and  Maia 
Dearborn  (French)  Goodall.  Her  father  was  a 
native  of  Rath.  New  Hampshire,  and  her  mother 
of  Landaff.  New  Hampshire.  He  is  descended 
in  the  paternal  line  from  John  \\'hitney.  who 
emigrated  from  London,  in  1635,  and  settled  at 
^\'ate^town.  Massachusetts.  .Ml  of  this  descent 
"can  claim  the  blood  of  some  of  those  whose 
names  are  most  familiar  in  English  history — 
the  Saxon  king,  .\lfred  the  Cireat.  and  Fdnumd 
Ironside :  the  Normans,  ^^'illiam  the  Conqueror 
and  Henry  I :  the  Plantagnets,  Henry  II,  John, 
Henry  III  and  Edward  I;  to  say  nothing  of  the 
royal  houses  of  Scotland,  France  and  Spain,  with 
whom  these  were  allied."  On  her  mother's  side. 
Mrs.  Sanford  is  descended  from  Godfrey  Dear- 
born, the  founder  of  the  family  of  American 
Dearborns  of  military  fame,  and  also  from  Ed- 
ward Gilman.  who  came  to  this  country  in  1638. 
His  genealogy  runs  through  the  famous  knight, 
(iilman  Troed-dhu,  back  to  Coel  Godeboc.  king 
of  Britain,  ancestor  of  Henry  VII  and  grand- 
father of  Constantine  the  Great.  Mr.  I'.oodall 
was  a  lawyer  by  ])rofession  in  his  early  days,  and 
was  a  son  of  Ira  Goodall,  a  very  prominent  attor- 
ney of  the  state  of  New  Hampshire.  David 
Goodall  engaged  in  the  operation  of  flour  and 
starch  mills  and  in  the  lumber  business.  He 
also  conducted  a  woolen  factory,  and  was  owner 
of  several  stores  in  Lisboti.  Rath  and  Swiftwatcr, 
New  Hampshire.  His  chief  interest  was  his 
lumber  business,  however,  and  this  he  carried 
on  successfully,  developing  a  large  trade.  He 
likewise  practiced  law  to  some  extent  and  was 
one  of  the  most  prominent  and  influent  residents 
of  his  community,  contributing  in  substantial 
measure  to  its  material  growth  and  jirogress.  He 
and  his  father  were  the  builders  of  the  \\"hite 
Mountain  Railway  of  New  England,  the  latter 
being  president,  wiiile  David  G.  Goodall  was 
vice  president  of  the  company  that  constructed 
this  line.  .\t  a  later  day  Ira  and  David  Goodall 
removed  to  the  west  and  both  died  in  Reloit. 
Wisconsin,  where  Mrs.  David  (i.  (ioodall  also 
passed  away.  In  their  family  were  five  children, 
who  are  vet  living:  Mrs.  Sanford;  Blanche,  who 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WINNEBAGO     COUNTY. 


155 


makes  her  home  in  Rockford  with  her  sister, 
Mrs.  Sanford ;  Nelhe  P.,  who  is  residing  in  \lc- 
toria,  British  Cokunbia ;  Mrs.  A.  J.  Morley,  also 
of  Victoria ;  and  Karl  D.,  a  druggist  of  Las  \'e- 
gas.  New  Mexico. 

Rockford  had  no  truer  friend  or  more  active 
co-operant  in  its  interests  for  the  general  welfare 
than  G.  A.  Sanford.  He  kept  well  informed  on 
political  questions  and  issues  of  the  day,  but  did 
not  seek  office  as  a  reward  for  party  fealty.  He 
served  as  alderman  and  in  other  city  and  county 
offices,  but  these  came  to  him  in  recognition  of 
his  ability  on  the  part  of  his  fellow-townsmen. 
He  was  deeply  interested  in  the  educational  pro- 
gress of  the  city,  and  on  the  6th  of  July,  1864. 
was  elected  a  trustee  of  Rockford  Seminary, 
now  Rockford  College,  serving  thus  until  the 
time  of  his  death.  On  the  6th  of  June,  1893,  '^^ 
was  chosen  vice  president  of  the  board,  and 
would  have  been  honored  with  the  presidency 
had  he  consented  to  accept.  He  became  a  char- 
ter member  of  the  Second  Congregational  church. 
in  which  ]\Irs.  Sanford  is  still  a  most  active  and 
earnest  worker.  His  name  was  the  second  found 
on  the  subscription  list  for  building  the  first 
stone  church,  and  owing  to  the  financial  condi- 
tion of  the  country  at  that  time  the  necessary 
expense  of  building  and  equipping  the  new 
church  became  so  burdensome  upon  the  sub- 
scribers and  members  of  the  society  that  Mr. 
Sanford  mortgaged  his  home'  in  order  that  the 
work  might  go  forward.  For  twenty-one  years 
he  served  as  a  trustee  of  the  church,  and  on  the 
expiration  of  that  period  was  presented  by  his 
co-workers  with  an  elegant  gold  chain  and  tab- 
let. January  3.  1887.  after  a  service  of  thirty 
years  as  trustee,  he  was  again  re-elected,  but  re- 
signed. On  that  occasion  the  following  record 
was  adopted :  "Resolved.  That  the  society  of 
the  Second  Congregational  church  desires  to  rec- 
ognize the  faithful  and  efficient  services  of  Trus- 
tee G.  A.  Sanford.  who  today  completes  thirty 
years  of  continuous  service  as  a  trustee  of  said 
society,  and  we  wish  to  extend  to  our  friend  and 
brother  this  expression  of  our  sincere  thanks  and 
high  appreciation  of  his  labors  in  its  behalf,  and 
that  it  be  placed  upon  the  records  of  the  society." 
The  records  of  the  church  show  that  he  was  the 
first  delegate  sent  out  by  that  organization  and 
in  1849,  SI'  55-  56  and  57  he  was  also  a  member 
of  the  assessment  committee.  In  1855  he  was 
elected  on  a  committee  of  five  to  take  action  for 
building  a  new  church.  He  read  the  report  rec- 
ommending the  site  of  the  stone  church  and  was 
made  chairman  of  the  committee  to  raise  the 
necessary  funds  for  the  building.  He  was  one 
of  the  trustees  and  usually  auctioned  the  church 
sittings.  In  i860  he  was  appointed  on  the  com- 
mittee to  liquidate  the  church  debt.      His  name 


heads  the  list  and  the  money  he  gave  he  was 
obliged  to  borrow  at  two  per  cent,  interest  a 
month.  In  1871  he  stated  to  a  called  meeting 
of  the  church  the  need  for  internal  improve- 
ments of  the  house  of  worship  and  in  1872  was 
made  chairman  of  a  committee  to  raise  the  nec- 
essary money.  In  1882  he  was  again  chairman 
of  a  special  meeting  to  consider  interior  changes 
of  the  church.  He  could  always  be  relied  upon 
to  help  struggling  churches  of  other  denomina- 
tions and  up  to  the  time  of  his  death  there  was 
hardly  a  church  in  the  city  or  in  the  neighboring 
towns  that  had  not  received  help  from  him.  He 
was  always  a  regular  attendant  at  the  various 
church  services  and  he  assisted  in  building  four 
Second  Congregational  churches  in  Rockford.  Al- 
though Mr.  Sanford  took  a  keen  interest  in 
politics,  beyond  serving  as  alderman,  sheriff  and 
school  commissioner,  he  never  took  any  official 
position.  He  was  a  whig  and  republican.  One 
side  of  Mr.  Sanford's  character,  that  would  not 
be  noticed  by  the  public,  was  his  intense  love  for 
flowers  and  animals.  Flowers  were  almost  like 
living  things  to  him  and  his  comradeship  with 
all  animals  was  often  amusing — the  cat  and  all 
her  kittens  following  in  his  wake  wherever  he 
moved  and  the  canary  bird  perching  on  his 
finger  or  head. 

He  died  very  suddenly,  March  16,  1894,  at 
three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  just  as  the  bank, 
of  which  he  was  president,  w^as  closing  its  doors 
after  the  business  of  the  day  was  over.  The  in- 
fluence of  such  a  man,  however,  will  long  he 
felt.  It  remains  as  a  blessed  benediction  to  those 
who  knew  him  and  as  a  potent  force  in  the  lives 
of  many  with  whom  he  was  associated.  His 
life  proved  that  an  honorable  name  and  success 
may  be  won  simultaneously.  In  his  business  af- 
fairs he  prospered  year  by  year  but  he  never 
selfishly  hoarded  his  gains.  He  believed  that  he 
was  merely  the  steward  into  whose  hands  the 
worldy  possessions  had  been  given  and  he  was 
free  and  generous  in  his  donations  to  help  worthy 
charit}'.  In  his  later  years,  when  crowned  with 
honors  and  wealth,  he  stood  just  where  he  did  in 
his  early  life — as  the  champion  of  character 
rather  than  of  competence,  and  is  an  advocate 
of  right  living  in  every  relation.  "An  honest 
man  is  the  noblest  work  of  God"  and  G.  A.  San- 
ford was  an  honest  man. 


FREDERICK  CHA.MP. 

Frederick  Champ,  to  whom  there  has  come 
success  as  the  direct  result  of  well  directed  efifort 
in  the  active  affairs  of  life,  so  that  he  is  now  en- 
abled to  live  retired,  is  a  resident  of  Rockford 
and  a  native  of  England.     His  birth  occurred  in 


i3r. 


PAST     AND     PRESENT     OF     WIXXEP.AGO     COUXTY. 


London,  Ft-briiary  23,  1829.  his  parents  being 
Thomas  and  Hannah  (I'eak)  Champ,  in  wliose 
family  were  two  daughters  and  four  sons.  The 
father  was  a  carver  and  gilder. 

I'Vederick  Champ  ac(|uired  only  a  common- 
school  education,  antl  in  his  native  land  he  re- 
mained until  i!;<54,  when,  with  the  hope  of  enjoy- 
ing better  business  advantages  in  the  new  world, 
he  crossed  the  Atlantic,  landing  at  Xew  York 
city  on  the  6th  of  July.  From  the  latter  place 
he  went  direct  to  Rockford.  Illinois,  and  for 
many  years  was  identified  with  its  business  inter- 
ests. He  was  first  employed  by  the  firm  of  Clark 
&  Utter,  with  whom  he  continued  for  some  years 
as  a  molder,  afterward  receiving  promo- 
tion to  the  position  of  foreman  and  later  of 
sujierintendent,  in  recognition  of  his  capability 
and  long  continued  and  faithful  service.  He  re- 
mained with  that  finn  until  18S3,  when  he  re- 
tired from  the  active  management  of  the  business 
and  retired  to  private  life,  since  which  time  he  has 
enjoyed  a  well  earned  rest.  In  the  meantime,  as 
his  financial  resources  had  increased,  he  pur- 
chased proi)erty  and  is  now  the  owner  of  de- 
sirable realty,  from  which  he  derives  a  good  in- 
come, and  the  supervision  of  his  property  inter- 
ests is  the  only  business  that  claims  his  attention. 

i'.efore  coming  to  Rockford  .Mr.  Champ  was 
united  in  marriage  in  England  to  Miss  I'rances 
Lucas,  of  .Sioke,  I-jiglantl,  and  they  had  two  chil- 
dren, Edwin  !•".  and  tjeorge  H.,  the  latter  now  a 
member  of  the  Loan  and  Investment  Company  of 
Logan.  Cash  county,  L'tah.  After  traveling  life's 
journey  together  for  about  half  a  century  .Mr. 
anfl  Mrs.  Champ  were  separated  by  the  death  of 
the  wife,  June  19,  1903.  .Mr.  Chami)  is  an  intel- 
ligent man.  devoting  considerable  time  to  read- 
ing, so  that  he  is  well  versed  on  all  subjects  of 
general  interest.  He  began  life  with  small  means, 
but  early  manifested  the  traits  of  character  which 
are  always  the  basis  of  succes.s — earnest  purpose, 
laudable  ambition  and  a  willingness  to  work — and 
in  this  way  he  has  accumidated  a  com])etency  for 
old  age. 


HARLOW  n.   1!.WKS. 

Harlow  ().  Hanks,  who  was  well  known  in 
business  circles  of  Rockford.  being  general 
agent  here  for  the  Mutual  Life  Insurance  Com- 
j)any  of  Xew  ^'ork,  and  also  active  and  promi- 
nent in  community  atTairs,  serving  as  conntv  sur- 
veyor of  Winnebago  couiUy.  l«x)k  U|)  his  alxide 
in  this  city  in  1889,  removing  from  Detroit, 
Michigan.  He  was,  however,  a  native  of  the  Em- 
pire state,  his  birth  having  occurred  in  Chenango 
county,  in  1833.  His  father  was  born  in  .\ew 
P.altimore.    Xew   'N'nrk.    .\ngnst    17.    171)2.    while 


the  mother's  birth  occurred  in  Oeenfield,  Xew 
York.  July  i6,  1796.  They  spent  their  entire 
lives  in  the  state  of  their  nativity  and  Mr.  Banks 
was  a  surveyor,  always  following  that  pursuit 
as  a  life  vocation. 

Harlow  ( ).  r>anks  acquired  a  liberal  and  practi- 
cal education  ^n  his  native  state,  where  he  after- 
ward taught  school,  following  that  profession  for 
several  years,  or  until  the  time  of  his  first  mar- 
riage. While  attending  and  teaching  school  in 
the  east  he  also  studied  surveying  and  subsequent 
to  his  marriage  he  entered  the  employ  of  the 
(rrand  Trunk  Railway  Company  and  before  the 
construction  of  its  line  in  the  east  he  executed  the 
survey  work  'all  over  the  state  of  Xew  York. 
Subsequently  he  removed  to  Detroit.  Michigan, 
where  he  accepted  a  general  agency  for  the  Mu- 
tual Life  Insurance  Com])any  of  Xew  York,  and 
with  characteristic  energy  he  began  the  building 
up  of  the  business  in  the  west  and  for  seven- 
teen years  was  connected  with  insurance 
business  in  Detroit.  In  1889  he  removed  to 
Rockford  and  was  again  made  general  agent  for 
the  Mutual  Life  Insurance  Company,  thus  con- 
tinuing in  the  insurance  business  until  his  death. 
Through  the  management  of  his  department  he 
largely  increased  the  business  of  the  company  in 
this  section  of  the  country. 

Mr.  Banks  was  twice  married.  His  first  wife 
died  in  Detroit,  in  1888.  They  were  the  jiarents 
of  four  children :  .\ngela.  who  now  resitles  in 
Des  Moines,  Iowa:  .Archie  W.,  a  resident  of 
Rockford.  who  is  now  agent  for  the  Mutual  Life 
Insurance  Company  of  Xew  York :  Willie,  a 
dentist  of  Detroit  :  and  Martin  .\dell)ert,  who  is 
one  of  the  leading  and  prominent  dentists  of 
Rockford.  with  offices  in  the  Brown  building. 
.After  losing  his  first  wife.  Mr.  Banks  was  married 
to  Mrs.  .\ddie  E.  (  Beardsley)  Corey,  a  native  of 
.Xew  Brunswick.  Xova  .Scotia,  and  a  <laughter 
of  John  and  E.xperience  (Patterson)  P.eardsley, 
both  of  whom  were  natives  of  Xova  Scotia,  where 
the  father  was  engageel  in  the  lumber  business. 
Lie  afterward  removed  to  Port  Huron.  Michi- 
gan, where  he  continued  in  the  same  line  until  his 
death.  Mrs.  lieardsley  is  now  living  with  her 
son  in  Grand  Raj^ids.  .Michigan,  .\ddie  E. 
Beardsley  was  first  married  to  John  Corey,  who 
died  in  Port  liuron,  Michigan,  leaving  two 
children :  Georgiana.  now  in  Chicago ;  and 
Frederick  J.,  who  is  agent  for  the  .\danis  Express 
Com])any.  in  LaCrosse.  Wisconsin. 

.Subse(|uent  to  his  removal  to  Rockford.  .Mr. 
Banks  was  elected  county  surveyor  of  Winne- 
bago county  and  acted  in  that  capacity  for  two 
years.  He  was  a  stanch  re|)ul)lican  in  his  polit- 
ical views,  took  an  active  and  helpful  part  in 
[jolitical  work  and  did  everything  in  his  power 
to  ])romote  the  growth  and  insure  the  success  of 


H.  O.  BANKS. 


PAST  AND  PRESENT  OF  WINNEBAGO  COUNTY. 


159 


his  party.  His  religious  faith  was  indicated  by 
his  membership  in  the  Court  Street  jMethodist 
Episcopal  church,  to  which  his  widow  also  be- 
longs. He  died  in  Rockford,  December  8,  1903, 
respected  by  all  who  knew  him.  He  had  gained 
many  friends  during  his  residence  here  and  was 
recognized  as  a  reliable  business  man,  whose 
character  was  such  as  commanded  uniform  es- 
teem and  confidence.  He  was  loyal  in  citizenship, 
faithful  in  friendship  and  unfaltering  in  his  de- 
votion to  his  family.  In  1893  he  erected  a  nice 
resirence  at  No.  1008  Franklin  avenue,  which  is 
now  owned  and  occupied  by  his  widow.  Mrs. 
Banks  is  well  known  in  social  circles  in  Rock- 
ford  and  the  hospitality  of  the  best  homes  is 
freely  accorded  her. 


ALFRED  HALL. 


Alfred  Hall,  deceased,  was  a  farmer  of  Winne- 
bago township,  who  died  in  February,  1900.  He 
is  yet  remembered,  however,  by  many  friends, 
who  appreciate  his  sterling  worth  and  many  good 
qualities  and  entertained  for  him  warm  regard. 
A  native  of  Canada,  he  was  born  in  London  town- 
ship, ^Middlesex  courty,  in  1833,  his  parents  be- 
ing Alonzo  and  Malinda  (Owen)  Hall,  both  of 
whom  were  natives  of  Canada,  whence  the}-  came 
to  Winnebago  count}-  during  the  pioneer  epoch  in 
its  history,  arriving  here  in  January,  1844.  The 
father  secured  a  large  tract  of  land  and,  making 
investment  from  time  to  time  in  property,  ulti- 
mately became  the  owner  of  about  fifteen  hun- 
dred acres.  Later,  however,  he  sold  much  of  his 
property  and  went  to  California  in  1850,  being 
accompanied  by  his  son  Alfred,  then  about  six- 
teen years  of  age.  The  father,  however,  became 
ill  in  the  Golden  state,  dying  within  three  or  four 
months  and  the  son  afterward  returned  to  the 
farm  in  Illinois.  His  mother  continued  to  reside 
here  until  1893,  when  she  passed  away  at  the  age 
of  eighty-four  years.  In  their  family  were  four 
children.  The  eldest,  Mrs.  Sophia  Hartwell,  was 
for  twenty-five  or  thirty  years  a  resident  of  Ma- 
son City,  Iowa,  subsequent  to  which  time  she 
made  her  home  in  Winnebago  township  until  her 
death,  which  occurred  several  years  ago.  Alfred 
is  the  second  of  the  family.  Joshua  left  this  sec- 
tion of  the  country  a  number  of  years  ago.  Char- 
lotte, the  widow  of  George  Hudson,  is  now  resid- 
ing in  Belvidere,  Boone  county,  Illinois. 

Alfred  Hall  was  but  a  boy  when  he  came  with 
his  family  to  Winneb-'go  county,  and  here  he  was 
reared  amid  pioneer  environments.  Following 
his  father's  death  he  returned  home,  but  three 
years  later  he  again  went  to  California,  where  he 
engaged  in  mining  for  several  years.  He  arrived 
once  more   in  Winnebago   county,   in   1869,   and 


then  turned  his  attention  to  agricultural  pursuits, 
which  he  carried  on  e.xtensively  up  to  the  time  of 
his  death.  He  was  the  owner  of  one  hundred  and 
eighty-one  acres,  which  tract  is  now  in  posses- 
sion of  Mrs.  Hall,  who  still  resides  upon  the 
farm  and  their  sons  operate  the  land.  In  his  busi- 
ness pursuits  Mr.  Hall  was  energetic,  systematic 
and  diligent,  and  his  labors  were  crowned  with 
a  gratifying  measure  of  prosperity.  Moreover, 
he  was  strictly  reliable  in  all  business  transac- 
tions, so  that  his  name  was  regarded  as  a  syno- 
nym of  business  integrity. 

In  Canada  Mr.  Hall  was  married  to  Miss  Em- 
ily McFarlane,  who  was  born  in  Middlesex  coun- 
ty, in  1844,  a  daughter  of  Archibald  and  Jean- 
ette  (Bryce)  McFarlane,  who  were  also  natives 
of  Canada,  where  they  spent  their  entire  lives, 
the  father  passing  away  in  1865,  while  the  moth- 
er survived  until  1894.  In  their  family  were 
twelve  children,  of  whom  four  are  now  deceased, 
and  Mrs.  Hall  is  the  only  one  residing  in  Winne- 
bago county.  By  her  marriage  she  became  the 
mother  of  four  children — Frank,  residing  at 
Westfield  Comers,  is  married  and  has  one  son, 
Elmer.  Fred  C.  is  married  and  is  a  farmer,  re- 
siding in  Winnebago  township,  but  at  present  he 
is  in  Colorado.  He  has  three  children,  Hazel  B., 
Helen  V.  and  Archie  B.  James  O.  and  Alonzo  K. 
are  at  home  and  are  engaged  in  the  operation  of 
the  farm  for  their  mother. 

Mr.  Hall  was  a  republican  in  his  political 
views,  stanch  in  his  advocacy  of  the  party,  and 
his  sons  have  followed  in  his  political  footsteps. 
He  was  called  to  several  public  ofiices,  serving 
as  road  commissioner  for  thirteen  years,  and  no 
trust  reposed  in  him  was  ever  betrayed  in  the 
slightest  degree.  He  was  always  true  to  his  du- 
ties, whether  of  a  public  or  private  nature,  and 
was  thus  one  of  the  valued  citizens  of  his  com- 
munity, whose  worth  was  widely  acknowledged, 
and  he  gained  thereby  the  friendship  and  regard 
of  man\'  with  whoi-n  he  came  in  contact. 


PATTEN  H.  ATWOOD. 

Patten  H.  Atwood,  at  one  time  an  enterprising 
and  respected  farmer  of  Winnebago  county,  gave 
up  his  life  when  in  the  military  service  of  his 
country  in  the  last  year  of  the  Civil  war,  but  he  is 
yet  remembered  by  many  of  the  older  citizens  of 
this  part  of  the  state.  He  belonged  to  a  family 
long  well  known  and  prominent  in  Rockford  and 
the  county.  He  was  born  in  Canada,  April  15, 
1842,  and  was  a  son  of  Joseph  Atwood.  His  moth- 
er died  during  the  early  boyhood  of  her  son  and 
the  father  afterward  married  again.  Later  he 
brought  his  family  from  Canada — his  native 
country — to  Illinois  and  purchased  a  farm  in  the 
Stillman  vallev,  in  Winnebago  county,  where  he 


i'\si'    \\i)    I'Ki^iAi    ( >i     w  iwi  r.  \(,o   coL'xrv. 


};a\i-   his   iimliviilcil  iittiiilioii  lo  miur.il   .ii;iKiil 
tnral  |iiiiMiil>  tintil  liis  lU'atli. 

Ill  llio  oommnii  M'liiiol.s  l'aiu-i\  11.   Atwood  ao- 
<|inii'il  liis  oiliK'alioii  and  in  lus  \onili  lu-  assisud 
l\i>  I'atlu'f  in  iIk-  oiuralion  nf  iho   I'aim.  .nivinj; 
lo  him  thr  liiiulil  of  liis  siTviiTs  until  lu'  naohiMl 
till-  a^;«'  oi   i\\cnt\-oni"  voars.  wlu'n  lu'  \va>  mar 
ncil  anil  vlarU'il  oni  in  life  on  his  own  account. 
lie  wi'iliKd   Mi-s   Hannah   II.    .MclMu-ison.  a  na 
ti\o  oi  Tanaila,  honi  I'lhruarv  .'i,  iS.(J,  hir  par 
I'lits  lioiiij;  I'harU's   IS.  aixl   l-idolia   !•"..   Mol'hoi- 
soi\,  \vlu>  also  oanu-  to  W  innclK»,i;o  count\   at  an 
early  pcrioil  in  its  M-ttli'mcni   and  improvomont. 
I  lor  falliiT  on^a.ci'd  in   laiininj.;  hero  for  .sovoral 
voars  anil  then  romovod  to  W  isoonsin,  whoro  ho 
diod.      .Mr,   and    .Mrs.    .\t\vood   iKvamo   tho  i»ar- 
onts  ot  ihroo  sous—Ira  .\..  who  resides  iu  Jowcll 
oonniy,   Kansas,   whoro  ho  is  ous^ivjod   in   farm 
iuj*  ;  I'vrus   llomor.  who  luarriod  t  lara   .MoAlli.v 
tor  and  rosidos  in  Storliuj,;.   Illiitois,  whoro  ho  is 
cuf^ajix-d  in  tho  ,yrooor\  hnsinoss,  and  I'.dward  II.. 
who  marriid  I  .illian  I'ioivo,  and  is  doalini;  in  ii.v 
in   Kookl\>rd.  hoiuj;    ouo    of    tho    proiniuom    in.I 
piDsporons  husittoss  moii  of  this  city. 

\fior  his  marriajiio  Mr.  .Xtwood  sotiloti  np.Mi  .i 
faun  in  tho  Stillman  valloy  and  onori;x-ticalt\  Ih-- 
^an  tho  cultivation  of  tho  soil  and  tho  improvo- 
ntont  of  tho  place,  which  soon  ,iia\o  ovidonco  of 
his  careful  supervision  and  dilijioucc.  I  lo  had 
carried  oi\  farn\in,i<  hut  a  low  yo.trs,  however, 
when  tho  I'ivil  war  hiMko  <M<t.  His  s\iui<athios 
wore  with  tho  I'niou  cause  and  in  iS(vj  ho  oi\- 
listod  and  with  his  ivjjimont  woiu  to  HutValo,  \ow 
Nork,  whoiv  he  was  taken  ill  with  measles  and 
after  an  illness  of  several  months,  his  death  there 
iHXMirrod  .\pril  15,  iSf\<;,  his  r^'maiits  Ihmu.h  iu- 
trrrcd  in  lUttYalo. 

.Mrs.  AiwimhI  i\»nliuued  lo  tx'sido  uiH>n  tho 
home  fanu  it\  tho  Stillman  vallo\  uiuil  iSS(».  attd 
there  irarod  her  sons,  hut  m  tho  \ear  montioniHl 
she  romovotl  lo  K>vkfi>nl,  whoro  she  has  sittce 
made  Iter  Itome.  t\ow  nsidiu};  al  \o.  11J5  X'iuth 
strtTl.  She  l>eIi>nK^  lo  the  Metltixlist  l'"pisco|Xi>l 
chtttvh.  of  which  her  Ituslvtnd  was  also  a  moiu- 
In-r,  and  her  U'li^ious  faith  has  Iveu  a  pormoaliuji' 
intlnenco  in  her  life,  dovolopiuj;  trails  oi  character 
that  have  wott  her  m.inv  friends. 


1>  \\  IP  >  \MI'l  I- 

!  well  known  as  a  ivpivseittative 

a^;■  Owen   township,   was  l>on«    \n 

Slialer  lownslup,  Mlojiheiu  t>nu\ly,  IVunsylva- 
uia,  }\\\\  (\  iS4,v  at»d  ix>pr»'seuis  ot«e  of  the  old 
families  of  that  state.  His  |v\terual  ,»;rai\dfalhcr. 
Jrt'  I  i\alivc  of  t.'«imK'rland  cxiuu- 

tv  !i  *  Vl.^^HT  J5.  i~5<>,  autl  w:^s 

of  Smteh  an»xs(r\       He  servt^l  liis  cxMtut' 


soMuf  in  tile  Kovolntionary  war  under  lioneral 
Washington  ami  after  the  ostahlishmont  of  the 
now  repnhlic  he  locitod  in  .\llo,i;hen\  comity, 
IVnnsvlvania,  takini;  up  government  huul  iu 
Shaler  township.  Ho  hocame  captain  of  a  coiu- 
pauN  of  militia  and  while  ho  was  on  militar\  duly 
his  wife  and  children  wore  carried  olV  h\  the  In- 
dians, hut  the  same  nijiht  a  sipiaw  returned  the 
familv  In  canoe  while  tlie  hravos  of  tho  trilv  were 
havinv;  a  dance.  James  Sample  Iniilt  the  first 
urist  mill  in  .\llesjhony  county,  iu  17*K>.  and  was 
otherwise  actively  idonlilied  with  tho  a.i;ricuttural 
and  industrial  dovolopitiont  of  the  stale. 

William  .Sample,  father  of  Havid  .Sample,  was 
hor